Rosh Pinah miners stop strike

23 Apr 2017 13:20pm
KEETMANSHOOP, 23 APR (NAMPA) – The illegal strike launched Wednesday night by over 300 Rosh Pinah Zinc Mine workers affiliated to the Mineworkers’ Union of Namibia (MUN), suddenly ended with workers returning to their posts Friday morning.
This was confirmed on Saturday by the union’s Rosh Pinah branch chairperson, Allen Kalumbu who said they returned to avoid punitive disciplinary measures from the company for going on strike.
He however said the union would not abandon its attempts to fight for a conducive working environment for the mine’s workers.
“In the next few days, we will take the matter of workers being treated unfairly by the mine’s employee relations specialist and engineering manager to the Office of the Labour Commissioner,” Kalumbu told Nampa.
The workers went on strike claiming that the two managers, Angeline Hagen and Andre Bergh respectively, target outspoken workers, who are then allegedly fired on trumped-up charges.
The workers called for the removal of the two.
In a letter to the union on Wednesday, chief operating officer Christo Horn said the company could no longer accept the union’s increasing threats of consequences if demands are not met.
He accused the union of “deliberately interfering with management’s responsibility of managing this [zinc mine] operation.”
Horn made it clear that the company will not dismiss Hagen and Bergh, indicating that allegations against the two were previously investigated and discharged.
“We have investigated and dealt with matters brought by the union against these two individuals and provided the MUN with feedback, of which the facts you refuse to accept,” he wrote.
This is the second workers’ strike in as many years at the mine. Last year, during February and March, workers embarked on a strike that lasted nearly two months over working conditions and wages.