Nafinu/MetHealth legal battle begins in High Court on Monday

04 Oct 2013 07:40
WINDHOEK, 04 OCT(NAMPA) – The legal battle between the Namibia Financial Institutions Union (Nafinu) and MetHealth Namibia Administrators over the alleged violation of strike ground rules by the private health company, will commence in the High Court here on Monday.
The hearing between the two parties, which was set to begin before High Court Judge Maphios Cheda here on Friday morning, was postponed to next Monday in order to allow the lawyers of the respondents (MetHealth Namibia Administrators) enough time to file their answering papers before the Registrar of the Windhoek High Court.
Windhoek-based Pieter de Beer is representing MetHealth Namibia Administrators, while Nixon Marcus of the Nixon Marcus Public Law Office is representing Nafinu, which is the applicant in the matter.
Earlier reports carried by local English daily 'The Namibian' had it that Nafinu approached the Windhoek High Court earlier this week with an urgent application after the union leadership received some information from a source that MetHealth Namibia has employed temporary workers to fill the posts of the employees who have been on strike for the past week.
According to the newspaper reports, Nafinu lodged the urgent application before court after MetHealth Namibia Administrators allegedly refused to allow the union leaders to inspect the premises and ensure that no ground rules have been violated by the private health company.
The reports further said some of the workers have received text messages threatening them with retrenchment should they continue with the strike action.
The text messages came after allegations emerged that the company plans to retrench all the striking workers and employ new staff members.
The newspaper also reported earlier this week that Nafinu is demanding a once-off N.dollars 2,6 million from MetHealth Namibia, which provides administration and manages health care services for medical aid funds in Namibia. The amount is to be shared equally amongst the employees.
The union has also demanded a 13,5 per cent salary increment, but MetHealth Namibia Administrators has offered them a 12,5 per cent package for A band employees; a 9,6 per cent increment for B band employees and eight per cent salary for C band employees in addition to 10 per cent increases on both the medical aid and transport allowances.