Recent media reports have revealed that the Namibia Public Workers Union (NAPWU), on behalf of the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) workers announced its decision to strike against the corporation.
Responding to the decision is NBC Board Chairperson Lazarus Jacobs, who rejected the idea of industrial action, stating that the decision to strike will not positively affect any parties involved. The Chairperson highlighted that the decision to strike would only lead to the deprivation of critical information to Namibians, especially during this crucial time of the COVID19 pandemic.
Jacobs further shed light on the impact that will result from the strike. One of the items the Chairman highlighted was the financial impact brought about by the strike, which will lead to the organisation being in a worse financial position, leading to the organisation not being able to pay for salaries. The Chairman further stressed his concern and disappointment on the workers for choosing the industrial action route instead of exploring other means and resolutions.
According to media reports, NBC had offered the workers a once-off payment which amounted to N$7.6 million (US$510 394,87). The offer was initially rejected and subsequently taken off the table when the Minister of Finance announced the financial year 2021/22 budget as it relates to NBC.
The Chairman also noted that employees had also received a wage increase of 6% backdated for 18 months in 2018. The Union has requested that NBC not be intimidated by the striking workers and refrain from employing freelancers. The Union also requested that NBC abstains from violating the workers right to freedom of association.