Arandis workers unhappy about retrenchment

13 Aug 2013 10:40
SWAKOPMUND, 13 AUG (NAMPA) – A group of disgruntled Arandis Services’ workers feel violated and disrespected by their employer after they were retrenched recently.
Arandis Services is a mining services’ contractor which supplies diverse building, infrastructure and engineering solutions to the mining industry.
A statement issued by the Mineworkers’ Union of Namibia (Mun)’s Erongo Regional Organiser, Kleophas Ngwena on Tuesday said the workers are condemning the behaviour and attitude of the company’s management after 16 employees were retrenched on 25 July 2013.
Ngwena said it is the third time this year that the company retrenched employees.
The first retrenchment was in February when 25 employees were booted, followed by another group of about 30 employees in April this year.
Ngwena said the employees are especially unhappy because they received their retrenchment packages on the same day that they were notified of being retrenched, without any negotiations having taken place.
He dubbed this action by the company as ‘dictatorship’, and explained that the company is disrespecting the Namibian Labour Act’s Section 30, which has regulations and mechanisms in place when it comes to retrenchment.
“Both parties met yesterday (Monday) to negotiate in order to improve the retrenchment packages, which the workers already received without agreement by the affected employees. But the company’s management refused to negotiate the retrenchment packages. This shows a spirit of bad- faith negotiations,” Ngwena stated.
He continued that this is a violation of the procedural recognition agreement, and has led to MUN tabling a dispute with the Office of the Labour Commissioner with regards to this matter.
The workers also feel their contracts of employment, which they signed with the company, are being violated as they were supposed to work until the year 2015.
The workers thus demand that the management comes back to the table and negotiates to improve the package of the affected employees.
They also want the company to pay all the affected employees’ birthday bonuses as per their contracts, and to pay a better package than what the Labour Act requires.
“If the management cannot run the company, they must give a chance to those who know how to run a business,” Ngwena charged.
The union leader additionally wanted to know from the company why only the poor workers were targeted and being retrenched, while the managers are secured in their positions.
Director of the company, John Smartryk Thorburn, declined to comment when contacted about the matter on Tuesday.