Meatco employees want acting CEO removed

29 Nov 2018 13:30pm
WINDHOEK, 29 NOV (NAMPA) – Close to 100 disgruntled Meatco employees have appealed to the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry to remove Jannie Breytenbach as the company’s acting chief executive officer (CEO).
They made the appeal during a peaceful demonstration on Wednesday, when they handed over a petition to Meatco’s management demanding Breytenbach’s immediate removal.
“We want the Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry to appoint an acting CEO from outside that can spearhead the company until a permanent CEO is appointed. If not, the workers will down tools until the matter is resolved,” the petition reads.
The employees are accusing Breytenbach of being the reason why the abattoirs at Oshakati and Katima Mulilo closed down.
The closure of these abattoirs according to shop steward, Michael Tjivikua, has led to the retrenchment of many workers.
They further claimed that the company in 2015 bought a mobile slaughter unit for the northern communal areas, but it is apparently no longer in use after not generating sufficient income.
Another claim by the disgruntled workers is that the company also in 2015 constructed a sheep abattoir for sheep destined for the European market, but this section was closed down leading to more retrenchments.
Breytenbach and livestock procurement executive Heiner Bohme are further accused of not following labour laws and allegedly favouring certain ethnic groups over others.
Meatco’s corporate affairs manager, Rosa Hamukuaja-Thobias however told Nampa the company has over the past few years been experiencing several challenges, including new external factors.
“We have been affected by drought and climate change which translated in a low number of cattle coming to the abattoirs,” she explained.
Hamukuaja-Thobias said this led to the company proposing early as well as voluntary retirement and other strategies, which she said did not sit well with the workers.
“The company is undergoing a lot of transformation at the moment,” she said.
The petition was received by acting Human Resources Manager, Christian Abrahams.
The meat processing and marketing company appointed Breytenbach as acting CEO in February this year to replace Ingo Schneider, who acted as the interim CEO since May 2017.