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Namdeb losing $1 mln per day as workers strike continues

08 august 2014

Namibia’s leading diamond company, Namdeb said it is losing about $1 million due to the ongoing industrial action by its employees over salaries.
The Namibian newspaper reports that the strike started last Saturday with the backing of the Mineworkers Union of Namibia.
Namdeb chief executive officer Inge Zaamwani-Kamwi said the strike was costing Windhoek N$6 million ($560,000) per day in taxes and royalties, while the company was losing N$4 million ($373,000).
She indicated that the strike was threatening their efforts to boost production at their aging mines.
“The strategic focus of my management team has, for the last five years, been to break new frontiers in efforts to find innovative ways to prolong the life of the operations and ensure a sustainable future for the benefit of Namibia and its people,” Zaamwani-Kamwi was quoted as saying by The Namibian.
“In fact, as far as we know, Namdeb may well be the oldest operating alluvial diamond mine in the world, giving testimony to the incredible efforts over the years to keep this aging mine in operation.”
The union had been negotiating with Namdeb since November 2013, demanding a 15 percent increase, while the company was offering 7.5 percent and 8.5 percent.
The workers rejected the offer and even demanded a 14 percent housing allowance.
The union was also demanding a 100 percent company contribution in Medical Aid and 85 percent in school subsidies.
Zaamwani-Kamwi said the company’s offer surpassed the salary settlements reached at other mines in the country and was wondering why MUN had rejected the offer.
She said that the company would remain committed to finding an amicable solution to the current dispute and continue to communicate with employees in an effort to bring the strike to an end.

Mathew Nyaungwa, Editor in Chief of the African Bureau, Rough&Polished