Workers demand better pay, bonuses
Workers of DYS Diamond Manufacturers on Tuesday held a peaceful demonstration expressing their dissatisfaction with their employer's decision to cut their December salary.
The demonstration, led by the Mineworkers Union of Namibia (MUN), involved over 70 DYS employees, who were protesting in front of the company's premises in Katutura.
They demanded that management reconsider the decision to cut their salaries, urging them to meet the workers halfway.
Speaking to the Namibia Press Agency (Nampa), the DYS workers' spokesperson, Apache Kuriri, said the company management decided that workers' basic salary, transport, food and attendance allowances would not be paid in full in December and they would not receive a 13th cheque.
She explained that the management decided to cut their salaries because the company was closing on 15 December for the holidays.
Kuriri said this was unfair as workers were willing to work the whole December to earn their normal salaries and that the decision to go on break was taken by the company's management.
“The employees of DYS Manufacturers are requesting the board of directors of DYS to meet us halfway and give us 80 percent of what we have demanded for in our consultations in terms of our signed recognition and procedural agreement,” she said.
In the consultations that took place on 2 November, the workers demanded a full monthly basic salary of N$2 500, a food allowance of N$600, transport allowance of N$500 and attendance fee of N$300, plus a 13th cheque of N$2 500.
MUN regional organiser Sakaria Simon said the union had been consulting the DYS management on the salary issues, but the management kept putting it on hold and only announced their decision on 2 November.
The company also announced that day that DYS would have no further meetings with the workers or union representatives.
The general manager of DYS, Edwin John, refused to speak to the union when approached by Simon during the demonstration.
When approached by Nampa, John said the company stood by its decision to cut December salaries. He refused to comment further.
DYS Diamond Manufacturers is a joint venture between Dalumi Diamonds, Yerushalmi Brothers and Sahar Atid Diamonds, which are three international diamond manufacturing companies. All three are De Beers Sightholders.
It polishes diamonds and sells rough diamonds. \The company opened in September 2016 with about 10 workers and currently employs over 100 workers.