Union commends Geingob for halting trips due to civil servants strike

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The General Secretary of the Namibia Public Workers Union (NAPWU),Peter Nevonga, has commended President Hage Geingob for his decision to cancel trips to Jamaica and Cuba to attend to the looming strike by civil servants.

On Monday, Geingob cancelled state visits to Cuba and Jamaica as civil servants voted to go on strike.

Geingob was, among other events, expected to be the guest of honour at Jaimaca’s 60th independence celebrations, while in Cuba, he was to receive the Order of Jose Julian Marti, that country’s highest national honour.

At a press conference Wednesday evening, Nevonga described the move as 'a leadership decision, because the president wants to attend to the issues around the strike. We hope his involvement will help us to find a solution on this matter.'

Last week, public servants participated in an election to vote on whether to strike or not, following a deadlock reached in a matter between NAPWU/NANTU and the government in respect of the salary negotiations for the 2021/2022 and 2022/2023 financial years respectively.

Nevonga also announced that the involved parties in the negotiations, unions and government accepted the results of the elections.

As of Wednesday, he said, they will embark on setting up the rules of the strike which will be agreed upon by the parties involved. After they have agreed to the rules, the union will give the government 48 hours’ notice before civil servants down tools.

He indicated that the salary negotiations will still continue if need be during the process of preparing for the strike.

Meanwhile, the government last week said it is under no obligation to remunerate any of the employees who partake in the industrial action.

This comment did not go well with Nevonga, who described it as intimidation.

He also took a swipe at the statement issued by the Presidency on Monday, saying that the strike is ill-conceived.

He said they followed the Act of Parliament which was signed into power by the Head of State.

A total of 42 216 public servants, representing 96,4 of the total votes, voted in favour of the strike

Source: The Namibian Press Agency