Windhoek, Namibia — MININGREVIEW.COM — 12 July 2010 – Workers at Namdeb Diamond Corporation “’ a joint venture between the government of Namibia and diamond giant De Beers “’ are scheduled to strike today, after management refused to meet their wage demands.
“The strike will start on Monday,” Mineworkers Union of Namibia spokesman Polivester Hangula said in a weekend phone interview from Oranjemund. “The union has reduced its demand from 22% at the beginning of the negotiations to 13%”. Namdeb has offered between 7 and 10%.
Namdeb halted production for three months last year when demand for the gems slumped as the worst recession since World War II deterred buyers of luxury items such as jewellery. “After accepting a hold on wages last year, workers feel the company can now afford to raise salaries,” Hangula said. “The union represents 1 132 of the company’s 1 600 workers,” he added.
The company, which is 45% owned by London-based Anglo American Plc, produced 298 000 carats in the first quarter, compared with 290 000 in the previous three months, Bank Windhoek revealed last month, citing statistics from the Namibian Mines Ministry.