Opuwo Town Council fires six workers

11 Oct 2014 09:50am
OPUWO, 11 OCT (NAMPA) – Six employees of the Opuwo Town Council were unceremoniously sacked last month.
The employees were tasked with street sweeping, picking up of litter, as well as impounding stray animals.
They have worked for the town council for between two and seven years.
The workers have since filed a case of unfair dismissal with the Labour Commissioner.
The conciliator at the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare in Opuwo, Maiba Sinvula confirmed to Nampa on Tuesday that a case was opened against the Opuwo Town Council by the fired employees, and the council was notified about the case against it.
“We are waiting for the Labour Commissioner in Windhoek to appoint somebody to take up the case or refer it to be investigated,” said Sinvula.
The job titles on their payslips indicate “short-term contract labourers”, and these workers’ contracts were supposed to be renewed every month as per the need of their services.
According to Sinvula, contract labour was discouraged in Namibia, and if there is any proof that the services of the six employees was continuous, than they may have a legitimate case.
“We received this letter a month before our said contracts were going to lapse. We worked for the town council for seven years without signing any contract. Now they are telling us we were on contract,” said one aggrieved worker Bernhard Shoopala.
He added that they were made to sign letters on 03 September, and it turned out that those letters were their contracts. In the afternoon of that same day, at about 14H30, they were called and served with other letters, notifying them that their contracts were coming to an end at the end of September this year.
Another dismissed worker, Andreas Imbamba worked for the Opuwo Town Council for four years consecutively without going on leave of any kind, because they were not entitled to any sort of leave.
If they did not show up for work for whatever reason, they were not paid.
Imbamba said other workers who started with them at the same time, are still employed.
The other four sacked employees are Undari Uaundjohambo, Junias Josef, Claudia Tuezunga and Simeon Johannes.
Approached for comment, the council’s Chief Executive Officer, Alphons Tjitombo told Nampa on Friday that he did not receive any notification from the Ministry of Labour or the Labour Commissioner about a case against them.
He added that there were no irregularities, as the council gave the casual labourers notice that their services were no longer required.