The employees of Bidvest Prestige Cleaning Services conducted a peaceful protest outside their corporate headquarters here on Friday.
They marched from the main police station along Independence Avenue to the offices while chanting the phrase, ‘We don’t want to be oppressed’.
The employees have petitioned management for a 50 per cent salary rise and improved working conditions twice in the span of almost three months.
According to payslips reviewed by this agency, it has been observed that certain employees earn a monthly salary of N.dollars 1 062.04 and N.dollars 2 074.55 respectively.
Saima Amaambo, the employee representative, stated that the grievances were submitted but disregarded.
“They promised us that they will meet with management in South Africa and revert back to us, but no response till now,” noted Amaambo.
According to her, instead of dealing with the issues raised, the management chose to “bully, threaten and mistreat” the employees.
Amaambo further elaborated that these actions had a “terrifying” effect on the staff.
The employees insisted on having a meeting with the management to discuss matters such as transport allowances and salary increments.
“Stop threatening, intimidating, and victimising employees for exercising their rights,” she stressed.
During a meeting with the employees, company General Manager, De Wet Jacobs informed them that he has communicated their demand to the Head of Office in South Africa and requested that they come to meet the employees.
Jacobs clarified that due to the absence of a minimum wage for the cleaning service industry in Namibia, they cannot do much regarding salary increments.
He further explained that the company’s profits are greatly dependent on payments from clients, which are determined by what the clients pay, leaving “very little room” for salary increments.
Source: The Namibian Press Agency