Furnmart Strikes

Isaac Chikosi

Employees from furniture stores Furnmart and Home Corp Namibia are still on strike after fail-ed salary negotiations. The strike which officially began on 1 June this year continues as the bar-gaining agent Metal and Allied Namibian Workers Union (MANWU) and employees wait for favourable action from management.

In Swakopmund, some employees who participated in the strike gathered on the vacant plot across from food lovers Market with placards demanding better salaries including housing and transport allowance. Employees who spoke to the namib times on condition of anonymity said they are not happy with their current salaries. “We don’t have any benefits like medical aid, and it seems management is not taking us seriously”, said one employee.
According to MANWU’s President Angula Angula, negotiations which began in 2018 already ended in a deadlock on 19 February 2019 and a certificate of non-resolution was then issued to the parties necessitating a legal strike. Evidently though, some workers did not heed the strike and reported for work as usual. When asked whether this would influence the strike at all, Angula responded by saying: “Remember that if there is an individual who refuses to take part in the strike, this is a choice of an individual and he/she cannot be forced. This is a challenge and it will be also a bad impact toward the union if there are those decided not to take part in the strike (sic)”.
He added that, “We strongly believe that our members must not go to work until this management change their mind”. MANWU is currently engaging with the Ministry of Labour to finalise the matter promptly. As to how long the strike will last, Angula had this to say, “We hope everything will go according to our plan and nothing must fail, from our side we have done our homework, the strike is protected, we have all documents in place, we received the strike rule that is guiding us, so if the management decides not to respond as soon as we expecting from them, we will meet at the higher court.” Attempts to reach management for comment were futile

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