Mineworkers union and Skorpion Zinc sign agreement

31 Mar 2017 20:30pm
WINDHOEK, 31 MAR (NAMPA) – The Skorpion Zinc Mine on Friday signed an agreement with the Mine Workers Union of Namibia (MUN) to retrench 43 of its 278 workers who were all facing retrenchment a month ago because their positions became redundant.
The agreement follows after the company and MUN came to an understanding that resulted in the drastic minimisation of retrenchments, made possible by an innovative and elegant restructuring of the business.
The retrenchments will be effective, 31 March 2017.
Addressing a joint media conference the same day, Skorpion Zinc General Manager Irvinne Simataa explained the company will retain and second 192 workers to Basil Read, while 22 will be absorbed elsewhere in the company. The remaining 21 workers are not part of the union’s bargaining unit.
To extend the lifespan of the mine for three years by developing Pit 112, Skorpion will outsource the project to Basil Read.
He said in further effort to minimise the impact of retrenching workers, the company and the union agreed to absorb the retrenched, should opportunities arise from the non-affected workers willing to take up a voluntary retrenchment package when employed by Basil Read.
“The parties are committed to ensuring that the agreement is implemented in full and look forward to the next phase of mine development,” said Simataa.
Speaking at the same conference, Minister of Mines and Energy, Obeth Kandjoze applauded the mine and MUN for reaching a mutual agreement after a lengthily negotiation.
“The government wishes to extend its absolute pleasure at the two parties for taking responsible action,” said Kandjoze.
Chairperson of the MUN Branch Executive Committee, Petersen Kambinda said the agreement is a milestone for the MUN, since the fight was in the interest of the workers.
“It was a long battle, although we did not get a hundred per cent, what we got is relieving knowing that most of the employees did not lose their bread,’’ said Kambinda.
Owned by Vedanta Resources, Skorpion Zinc employs around 1 500 people at the mine.