Namibia Airports Company to Enter Arbitration with Former Employees
Employees of the Namibia Airports Company (NAC) who were given the opportunity to leave the company during its restructuring and downsizing process did so under the understanding that they would receive pension pay-outs. However, those payouts have been stalled for 15 months due to the company’s alleged inability to pay money into the Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF).
After over a year of stalling and threats of legal action, the approximate 30 former employees and the Namibia Airports Company have agreed to enter arbitration and allow an arbitrator to settle the dispute. According to NAC's head of corporate communications, Mia Davids, the company has not intentionally withheld the payments it promised but has rather faced difficult financial struggles in attempting to do so.
In an effort to reach a mutually beneficial settlement to the dispute, NAC requested that GIPF pay the pensions on a form of credit and from a fund that would later be the liability of NAC after the arbitration hearing is completed. According to a statement from NAC, “Contrary to claims cited by the group of ex-employees, we wish to make it clear that at no point did the NAC oppose pension payouts to ex-employees as we sincerely sympathize with them for the delay in this regard, which is due to a difference in the interpretation of GIPF
rules by both GIPF and NAC in terms of which GIPF rule the payment to ex-employees should be made.”
Eben de Klerk has been appointed as the arbitrator for the case as NAC continues to reiterate that its restructuring, while successful, is ongoing in the hope of reducing its costs through ending internal remuneration inequality and re-aligning operations to achieve greater efficiency.