|Coca-Cola workers go on strike today|
|Written by Augetto Graig|
|Wednesday, 13 June 2012 22:34|
Coca-Cola Bottlers and its parent company Namibia Beverages face a fully-fledged legal strike from this morning 07h00, which is expected to affect service delivery to current customers.
Namibia Food and Allied Workers Union (Nafau) regional organiser John Kapolo yesterday confirmed that the strike was set to go ahead first thing Thursday morning. “Yes, we strike from tomorrow, seven o’ clock in the morning,” he told Informanté. According to the union man, negotiations regarding wages and conditions of employment have been on-going between the union and Coca Cola, but have now reached a deadlock. He pointed out that Nafau has followed all requirements required by the Labour Act and recently completed a ballot regarding what to do about the unresolved dispute. ‘Nghifilai’ (real name withheld on request) is one long standing Coca Cola employee with more than twenty years’ experience with the company. He told Informanté that the problem stems from some new employees earning more than long-serving workers, as well as a general management attitude of not listening to complaints. “I earn N$5 000 a month, which is very little after 22 years of service,” he said. “I want the Coca-Cola company to see everyone the same, black and white, not like under apartheid and I want them to recognise us if we have worked here for long,” he said. The unhappy worker said that the union had organised the ballot vote of the 441 workers in its bargaining unit last Friday. In Windhoek 181 workers voted to strike versus only seven who voted against. Nationally the union gained more than enough support to go ahead with strike action. In an official statement Namibia Beverages acknowledged that a stalemate has been reached in the annual wage negotiations. Industrial action will commence at 7h00 on Thursday, 14 June, the company announced. “Service delivery to our customers throughout Namibia will be affected and we apologise to our customers and consumers for the inconvenience caused. Negotiations are on-going and the parties remain committed to finding an amicable solution soonest,” the company statement reads.