NAMIBIAN Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) workers will only return to work if their salary demands are met.
This was the message from Gabes Andumba, the deputy general secretary of the Namibia Public Workers' Union (Napwu), yesterday.
Yesterday afternoon, there were talks that Targeted Intervention Programme for Employment and Economic Growth (TIPEEG) funds in the Ministry of Works and Transport which would not be used in the current financial year may be diverted to salvage the situation.
However, Erkki Nghimtina, the Minister of Works and Transport, denied this. "Oh my god - I'm not the Minister of Finance. This is false and cannot be done whatsoever on earth. Maybe in heaven," he said.
The Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Joël Kaapanda, was said to be in meetings all afternoon yesterday to discuss the way forward for the NBC.
NBC employees countrywide stopped working from midnight on Wednesday after salary negotiations reached deadlock.
Yesterday's strike crippled the radio and television services of the NBC.
According to Andumba, the workers initially wanted a 13 percent salary increase across the board.
Now, the lower level workers demand 4,4%, while those in higher grades want one percent. They also want higher housing subsidies.
Earlier this week, both NBC director general Albertus Aochamub and Kaapanda said there was no money available for salary increases at the public broadcaster.
Aochamub yesterday afternoon confirmed that the NBC's television service is off air. He said radio programmes were being run by skeleton staff.
According to him, management's hands are tied and he and board chairperson Sven Thieme are waiting on news from Government on the way forward.
(Source : The Namibian via allAfrica.com)