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Namdeb, Workers Reach Wage Agreement

Mass strike in Oranjemund is called off.
Jul 12, 2010 5:47 AM   By Deena Taylor
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RAPAPORT... A mass strike at Namdeb has been averted following a wage agreement between the diamond mining company and the Mineworkers Union of Namibia (MUN).

MUN, which represents 1,132 of the company’s 1,600 workers, gave Namdeb 48 hours notice of its intention to strike, as required by law, last week. However, Deputy Minister of Labor and Social Welfare Alpheus Muheua and senior leaders from the National Union of Namibian Workers and MUN flew to Oranjemund on Friday to meet with Namdeb executives and intervene in the dispute, New Era reported.

"This intervention resulted in Namdeb and the MUN successfully reaching an agreement on a two-year wage deal effective from April 1, 2010," Namdeb said.

According to the agreement, workers' wages will be raised by 10 percent, while remote allowance will be raised by 10 percent for those at the midpoint of the salary scale. Workers will also receive a 9 percent housing allowance.

Namdeb said that the question of leave will be addressed at a separate forum.

"Both Namdeb and the MUN expressed satisfaction that the dispute was resolved amicably," the company also stated.
Namdeb posted a loss of $414 million for 2009, while its output declined 56 percent year over year to 929,000 carats.

"Namdeb’s key goal is to optimize the ore body through mining profitably and sustainably to the year 2050 and beyond. Employees and other key stakeholders can now focus on achieving this vision," the company said.

Namdeb is an equal partnership between De Beers and the Namibian government.

Tags: De Beers, Deena Taylor, Government, Namdeb, Namibia
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