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Cabin Crew Strike Threatens Namibian Aviation Industry

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Namibia Cabin Crew Union (NCCU)’s President Reginald Kock has said the union which represents the Southern African country’s flight attendants would commence an industrial action on Wednesday over low salaries.

“Air Namibia did not compare our cabin crew salaries with those of similar positions in the industry. Instead, they compared them with the salaries of clerks,” said Kock.

According to Kock, salaries of flight attendants in the country were far below those of their colleagues in other countries the in Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), making the more than 140 members of the NCCU down tools in protest.

The labour leader emphasized that the cabin crew have a tremendous “safety aspect” to their jobs and hence the airline should treat them with respect.

“We have communicated reasonable salary figures to management but feel we were ignored,” added Kock.

He said cabin crew members out on international flights will join the strike once they return.

Following the expression of grievances by the union, the airline said it had engaged the services of independent HR consultants for a review of the grading exercise, which brought about the strike. The consultants are expected to complete the review by June 20, 2014.

In view of this, the Ministry of Labour was reported to have requested that the union delay its planned strike until the result of the review was released but Sitali said the union remained adamant.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA)-certified airline is a major player in Namibia’s tourism sector, which is the country’s third-largest contributor to GDP, contributing 14.5 percent and creating 18.2 percent of all Namibian employments.

A protracted strike will no doubt be unpleasant for the country’s only major airline, with route network comprising 16 destinations in different countries in Africa and Europe.

Sitali said the airline would continue operating a number of flights and would do everything in its power to avert the strike.

Article Credit: Ventures-africa

Updated 5 Years ago

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