After lengthy negotiations, the Metal and Allied Namibian Workers Union (MANWU) the BWI affiliate in Namibia and the Construction Industries Federation of Namibia (CIF) agreed on 9 November for a 5.6 percent increase for 2018 for the construction sector.
From January 1, the gazetted minimum wage in the construction sector is N$16.04 (1.13 USD) per hour, which was the result of two big increases of 10 percent each on the minimum wage of N$13.26 (0.93 USD) in 2014/2015, and the minimum wage of N$14.59 (1.03 USD) in 2016. MANWU however demanded a minimum wage increase of 13 percent for 2017/2018 and a further increase of 13 percent for 2018/2019, despite employers only offering 2.5 percent.
On her way to Harare, Zimbabwe to attend to ZCATWU 7th Congress, MANWU general secretary, Justine Jonas-Emvula said the negotiations were tough, especially for the workers, who – due to a lack of information – had little understanding as to why in the construction sector is finding itself on its knees.
She added that the union also found it tough to negotiate with an employer who is retrenching at the same time. “However, due to commitment and understanding and after serious consultations and education of our members about the construction sector’s dilemma, consensus was reached; this increase is only applicable for 2018 and that they soon will resume with negotiations for the next two years” she said.
MANWU is organizing around 4,000 workers in the Construction and Metal industries in Namibia.