NAFPU loses labour case

27 Nov 2016 13:40pm
WINDHOEK, 27 NOV (NAMPA) – Labour Commissioner Nicolas Mouers on Friday dismissed the Namibia Football Players Union (NAFPU)'s case against the Namibia Football Association (NFA) with regards to outstanding players’ salaries and representation.
He also dismissed the jurisdiction of the labour commission on the matter.
Commissioner Mouers ruled that the players’ union’s request to engage the NFA in relation to players’ outstanding payments by their clubs was irregular and un-procedural.
Handing down the judgement, he said: “I’m not satisfied that the mere affirmation of recognition of the applicant (NAFPU) by the respondent (NFA) as the only bargaining agent in football under the respondent’s jurisdiction warrants the existence of an employer/employee relationship between the applicant and the respondent.”
He added that the employee/employer relations exist only between NAFPU and the respective Namibia Premier leagues clubs, who the players ply their trade for.
Commissioner Mouers further stated that the Office of the Labour Commissioner has no jurisdiction to hear the matter between the two organisations, as there was no employer/employee relationship between the applicant and respondent.
In a media release availed to Nampa on Saturday, NFA president Frans Mbidi said he hopes NAFPU will take heed and truly represent their members’ interest in accordance with all the procedures available.
“It is unfortunate that we had to go this route with them but today the legitimacy of their case is dismissed and we urge them to now consider the right platforms for the benefit of the players”.
NFA Secretary General, Barry Rukoro, said “the matter has served as a learning curve for all of us and we hope the game will emerge stronger and united from this debacle.”
Speaking at a media conference Saturday afternoon, NAFPU Secretary General Olsen Kahiriri said he is disappointed with the outcome of the case.
He noted however that despite the ruling, the union will pursue other avenues to find justice.
“We feel the arbitrator did not apply his mind correctly on this case. Our case was not heard because NFA shifted the case saying they are not an employer. But we feel we have the right to take NFA to court as an exclusive bargaining agent,” he said.
He revealed that the union will meet during the week to seek the way forward and indicated that they are most likely to take the case to the High Court.
NAFPU took the NFA to the Labour Court in October this year on various charges, including alleged continued ill treatment of NAFPU by the football mother body; failure by the NFA to establish a players’ status committee as per the international football body’s Regulations on Status and Transfer of Players, and Dispute Resolution Chamber; and apparent failure by the NFA to establish regulations that protect contractual stability and pay due respect to mandatory national laws enshrined in FIFA regulations.