09 August 2014, Windhoek — The fuel retail industry agreed on establishing a forum, to be called Namibian Fuel Retail Industry Labour Forum (NFRILF), to provide dialogue and debate for the minimum wage in the industry. This follows last month’s stike by service station workers in Oshana, Ohangwena, Oshikoto, Omusati and Khomas regions demanding a wage increase from the current range of between N$250 and N$800 per month to a minimum of N$4 500.
Koos van der Merwe from the Association of Services Station Owners (ASSO) expressed gratitude towards the partners of the forum for its input and establishment.
“This is a very important and strategic industry and unfortunately, whatever happens during the negotiations could have an impact on the economy of this country,” he said.
The Secretary-General of the Namibia Fuel and Allied Workers Union (NWRWU), Victor Hamunyela told members of the media after the signing of the MoU, it is his hope that the forum will arrive at a common agreement that will benefit all parties involved.
“We at this forum believe the common purpose of addressing the workers’ issues is the only option to go,” Hamunyela said.
The agreement was signed on Wednesday between ASSO, NAFAWU, Mine Workers Union of Namibia (MUN), Metal and Allied Workers Union (MANWU), Namibia Wholesaler Retail Workers Union (NWRWU) and the Namibia Food and Allied Workers Union. The forum would negotiate and set minimum wage for the fuel retail industry with the Namibian government facilitating.
Currently there is no set minimum wage in the industry. The aim of the forum is to recognise the importance of sound labour relations that underpin the future sustainability of the fuel retail industry and to declare their maintenance of industrial peace and stability, the future growth and prosperity of the fuel retail industry and the treatment of all employees in the fuel retail industry.
Furthermore the objective of the forum is to promote collective bargaining at national level in respect of a minimum wage.
– New Era