Naoxas denies allegations, labels demonstration unlawful

28 Feb 2019 15:00pm
SWAKOPMUND, 28 FEB (NAMPA) – Emma Naoxas, the managing director of Uibasen Services, an Arandis-based cleaning company contracted by Rössing Uranium, has denied allegations made against her by employees during a demonstration held on Wednesday.
At the demonstration, the employees accused Naoxas of intentionally failing to comply with basic conditions of employment as guaranteed under the Namibian Labour Act 11 of 2007.
In an interview with Nampa on Wednesday, Naoxas claimed the demonstration was unlawful.
“We had a staff meeting on 07 January and none of the employees came forth with any complaints of issues and therefore, that demonstration was unlawful. Hence my decision to direct the bus driver not to pick up the employees to come to work after they were done demonstrating,” she said.
She also questioned the Mineworkers Union of Namibia’s involvement in the demonstration, as she does not have any recognition agreement with the union but tried to schedule a meeting with them in order to vote on whether employees would want them as a representative.
The ballot results were supposed to determine whether the number of employees seeking the union’s representation was more than half of the number employed at the company, which, according to her, was not the case.
“My lawyer and I also so far tried to meet with the union on two occasions, but they did not pitch for the first meeting, which was scheduled in November and were late for the second one last week Wednesday (20 February), so we called it off,” she stated.
According to Naoxas, she is yet to read the petition as she is currently on study leave.
The close to 40 employees also alleged that for the past 10 years, Naoxas has refused to address them regarding their working conditions, despite numerous pleas.
However, she maintains that she has never been approached by anyone to complain about anything.
Contacted for comment, MUN western regional coordinator George Ampweya acknowledged receipt of the meeting invitation, but explained that he requested for it to be rescheduled as he was unable to attend due to other engagements - but never received feedback from Naoxas.
“As for the second meeting last week which was scheduled for 17h00, we arrived at the meeting venue at around 17h07, and we found Naoxas and her lawyer walking out and wanting to call off the meeting,” Ampweya told Nampa.
No other meeting was scheduled after that, according to Ampweya.