Namibia: Road workers demonstrate for better salaries and living conditions; incl. co's comment (mentions China Henan Gourp and Chico Namibia)
“Road workers demand better conditions”
MEMBERS of the Metal and Allied Namibian Workers Union (Manwu), who are employed as road construction workers on the Asab-Tses road in the Hardap region, are demanding better working conditions from the China Henan Group and Chico Namibia.
The employees last week held a demonstration at the project's offices at Asab to express their dissatisfaction.
Manwu Keetmanshoop branch organiser and spokesperson Suzel Cloete says the workers are demanding reasonable salaries, housing and food allowances, and decent living quarters.
Many of the China Henan workers live in tents and corrugated zink structures at Asab, she says.
The workers claim they have to use one water point, which they share with the Asab community.
Additionally, drinking water is mostly not available, they say.
The workers say some operators have received salary increments, and that the salaries of their Zimbabwean counterparts have been doubled.
The workers further claim the quality of the roads is not up to standard.
Chico Namibia's head of human resources, Elina Nashixwa, says all employees have received a 2% increase on their hourly rate in November.
She says the grader operators from Zimbabwe perform a specialised skill, which creates a demand for them in the market, and they therefore receive a market-related salary.
Nashixwa further rubbishes claims of the road being substandard.
“We are not in the hiring and firing business. Let the workers please use the grievance policy and launch their complaints directly to our office,” she says.