Staff threatens to “occupy” Swakopmund Hotel and Entertainment Centre

Staff allegedly not paid salaries for the past eight months. Workers argue hotel should become home now.

The Namibian Food and Allied Workers Union (NAFAU) together with the employees of the Swakopmund Hotel and Entertainment Centre is threatening to occupy the Hotel by the end of this week, should management of the hotel fail to meet the employees and find a solution to the non-payment of salaries. The employees are also expecting their back-pay for the last 8 months, which they have not been paid.

Johannes Shayuka, the Erongo Regional Coordinator for NAFAU during a press briefing on 18 December said: “We are giving the company four days to assist the workers in any kind, otherwise we will be left with no other choice but to let the workers occupy the hotel as they have no place to stay”. Currently, the company allegedly accommodate one employee and his family, who are eating free while the remaining 169 employees are suffering.
NAFAU is very dissatisfied with the way the hotel’s management is treating employees. The last salaries employees received was in April this year.
According to Shayuka, the union registered a case at the Ministry of Labour in June this year. The case is pending.
Shayuka said employees are suffering. Workers are uncertain of their futures with the Hotel. Most have no secure additional source of income and no roofs over their heads.
NAFAU reportedly at various occasions wrote letters to the hotel management, pleading with them to assist the employees in any way possible. The pleas fell on deaf ears.
The spokesperson for the staff, Stanley Tsai-Tsaib, said the fight between TransNamib and the Hotel should not affect the employees, because employees work for the Swakopmund Hotel and Entertainment Centre and not for the shareholder which is TransNamib. Tsai-Tsaib further said the General Manager, who lives in Swakopmund, refuses to meet with the employees and that is a clear sign that there is no interest from her towards the staff.
“This type of situation requires people to meet face-to-face and should not be communicated through text messages or WhatsApp like they are doing at the moment. There are many letters we received during the past months, letters without the company’s stamp or letter head”, explained Tsai-Tsaib.

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