18 Mar 2019 14:30pm
WINDHOEK, 18 MAR (NAMPA) An urgent meeting between President Hage Geingob and the Mine Workers Union of Namibia (MUN) fell through after representatives of the union failed to show up on Monday.
The meeting was slated for 10h00 at State House, but the president arrived to an empty boardroom and waited for the union representatives, who only showed up moments after the meeting was adjourned.
The union requested to meet with Geingob after an audio clip of discussions between Erongo Governor Cleophas Mutjavikua and the management of Swakop Uranium was leaked.
During the meeting held in February, the two parties discussed the wage negotiations between the union and the company and Mutjavikua, who was acting as mediator, is heard advising the company to invoke the reorganisation clause in exchange for them consenting to the union demands.
In a letter dated 15 March 2019, addressed to Executive Director in the Presidency, Moses Pakote said the MUN leadership did not meet the mandate of the Swakop Uranium employees and thus did not direct the union representatives to meet with Geingob.
The letter written by the Swakop Uranium employees was also accompanied by 112 signatures.
Our demand as the direct affected employees [is for] the meeting to be cancelled; [and] the MUN leadership (delegates) to come see the affected employees first before going to meet the Head of State, the letter stated.
I am sorry we wasted your time and our time. We are going back to work now, an unhappy Geingob told members of the media and some Cabinet ministers and presidential advisors who were present.
The union representatives showed up at State House 20 minutes later. They had no knowledge of the letter.
One-hundred signatures by employees does not constitute an employees decision because the employees are over 1 000, MUN Secretary for the western region, Petrus Petrus said.
The union representatives said the next step would be to hold a media conference to address the matter.