Workers at Tsumeb Municipality down tools over salary increase

Employees of the Tsumeb Municipality on Thursday downed tools for nearly two hours demanding a six per cent salary increase.

The more than 130 workers had gathered at the municipality's technical department building threatening to hold an illegal strike for an indefinite period of time starting Thursday.

The workers told Nampa in an interview that they are disappointed in the municipality's leadership which allegedly has refused to implement a council resolution that was taken by the local authority councillors beginning of this year to increase salaries of all 137 workers with a six per cent.

It is disappointing to us because the councillors already in March this year approved our proposal for a 12 per cent salary increment which was divided into two portions as six per cent for this year, and another six per cent in 2020, said the workers.

However, acting Tsumeb Municipality's Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Monique Muturi also arrived at the same technical department on Thursday morning to diffuse the gathering.

Muturi told the workers that it was not necessary for them to down tools or engage in a slow down of any nature as the municipality was busy consulting with the line Ministry of Urban and Rural Development on the matter.

Muturi explained to them that the Tsumeb's local authority councillors had indeed agreed to worker's 12 per cent salary increase proposal, but it also had to forward the same proposal to the ministry as a salary submission for approval or disapproval.

In September this year we received the answer from the ministry in a form of a decline, therefore, we still need to consult further with the ministry on the matter, she said.

Muturi then asked the workers to go back to their normal official duties while her office also begins with the consultations.

The workers only returned to their duties on condition with one another that they will embark on an illegal or legal strike next month if their six per cent increment does not show on their payslips on 25 November this year.

Source: Namibia Press Agency