Namdeb workers to down tools over wages

[] — Workers at diamond producer Namdeb, a 50-50 joint venture between De Beers and the Namibian government, plan to strike from Monday over pay, the company said.

The Mineworkers Union of Namibia (MUN) said the majority of its 1 107 members at Namdeb rejected the company’s latest offer of a 10% pay increase and voted to strike, Namdeb said.

The workers are asking for a 13% rise and an increase in other allowances.

Last year employees received a 12% bonus on their annual wages, Namdeb said in a statement late on Thursday.

“The MUN has informed Namdeb of its members’ intention to strike… the notice received indicates that industrial action will commence on 12 July,” Namdeb said.

Namdeb Managing Director Inge Zaamwani-Kamwi said the company was operating under difficult financial conditions after the diamond industry was hit by the global economic slowdown.

“Our doors continue to remain open and we still hope for an amicable solution to the current situation,” Zaamwani-Kamwi said.