Rosh Pinah zinc mine workers strike again

20 Apr 2017 16:30pm
KEETMANSHOOP, 20 APR (NAMPA) – Rosh Pinah Zinc Mine was shut down by hundreds of angry workers on Wednesday evening, stalling production at the facility for the whole of Thursday.
Hundreds of workers aligned to the Mineworkers’ Union of Namibia (MUN) embarked on an illegal strike, demanding the removal of two senior employees.
The workers insisted through their union that they would not return to work until the removal of the Employee Relations (ER) Specialist and the Engineering Manager.
Nampa understands that workers used heavy equipment and vehicles to block access points at the mine, preventing other workers from outside the bargaining unit from entering the facility.
MUN regional representatives, who asked for anonymity, told Nampa on Thursday that relations between the company management and the workers nosedived after the end of the last strike in March last year.
“The company has since been targeting union leaders and outspoken staff, and fired a number of people unprocedurally,” one union representative alleged.
Another said the situation is made unbearable by the ER Specialist who “instead of being fair in representing the workers, blatantly sides with the company only”.
The Engineering Manager apparently targets and trumps up disciplinary charges against workers, forcing their dismissals.
A senior union representative said the union informed the company in a meeting last week of the workers’ demand for the removal of the two managers.
“They refused. Then the workers decided since things will not change at the mine, they will have to take action.”
Calls made to the company and mine spokesman Kondja Kaulinge’s cellphone all went unanswered on Thursday.