Elections

 

Employees of Coca-Cola's Oshakati branch staged a demonstration in protest against Africa Personnel Service (APS), the biggest labor hire company in Namibia.

The employees in their petition claim that they have been receiving low wages since the company outsourced the employment of workers to APS in 2015.

In addition, the employees said they do not have fixed wages and are paid per hour on a 'no work, no pay' system.

Some of their colleagues in production end up taking home between 400 and 600 dollars per month, while truck helpers may end up receiving N$1,200 to N$1,500.

This, the employees say, is frustrating, as it does not consider the difference in workload.

In their petition, the employees also claimed that they do not have medical aid or any benefits and want fair treatment and compensation for their hard work.

"We are not working for APS, but APS is a crooked company that is confiscating our salaries. APS doesn't have any depot in Namibia, no transport or truck for APS, no warehouse, but we are being used as slaves in an independent country by APS."

The demonstrators are calling for the abolishment of APS as a labor agent and want Coca-Cola Beverages Namibia to recruit them directly.

"We have been working for Coca-Cola for 20 years, but until today we are still being used by APS as slaves. To compare the salary of those working at Coca-Cola as drivers offloading trucks with the one for APS, there is a big difference, but they are all doing the same work."

They gave APS until May 2 of this year to respond to their grievances.

The employees further want action taken against their supervisor, Gabriel Shishiveni, whom they accuse of making decisions without worker input and of using abusive language towards them.

Sybrand de Beer received the petition and said, "We don't agree with all the things that are in this petition; some of them are definitely wrong, but we will respond to them by the deadline that you have given us. I hope that we can resolve the issues. As one of the largest employers across this country, we want people to be happy."

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Tonateni Haimbodi