07 Aug 2006
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By Kuvee Kangueehi
The Mineworkers Union of Namibia (MUN) has expressed concern over the dismissals of many young Namibians after completing their training at the LLD Diamonds Namibia. MUN through its General Secretary Bro Hengari said while his union fully supports LLD Diamonds for its faith in Namibia and appreciates that today young Namibians are skilled with knowledge, it is disturbed by the dismissals.
He noted that the MUN is astounded and astonished by the conduct of both LLD Diamonds Namibia and SAKAWE Mining.
"They try to portray a picture of its excellent investment climate at the expense of the young trainees' job security who often face victimization and unfair dismissals."
He said since independence and since the enactment of the Labour Act, government has tried to pursue a policy of sound labour relations through consolidation of tripartite structures, promotion of industrial democracy and developing conditions, which are conducive to investment and social progress.
"However, it is apparent that certain shortcomings remain, especially in the sphere of dispute resolution."
He said industrial relations in the pre-independence era are characterized by mistrust and suspicion between employers and their employees, which mainly lead to strikes, lock-outs, and sometimes result in physical assaults, something that ought not to happen after independence.
"The two-day work stoppage at LLD Diamonds Namibia was prompted by poor industrial relations in unfair dismissals, and management's refusal to respect or recognize the MUN as a sole and exclusive bargaining agent for those employees falling under the bargaining unit as in the Labour Act."
Hengari claimed that there were also inconsistencies in the application of disciplinary procedures, codes and policies that are not applicable to all employees falling under the bargaining unit. He claimed that LLD Diamonds and SAKAWE Mining are known for their policy of hiring and firing and from June until the middle of July 2006, almost 30 trainees lost their jobs as a result of unfair dismissals under the leadership of Mike Nesongano, the General Manager of LLD Diamonds.
"These young trainees were not informed of the reasons for their dismissals and this is just a tip of the iceberg of what is really happening."
Hengari warned that the situation at Leviev Group of companies is deteriorating and the two-day work stoppage was triggered by various issues such as discrimination in evaluation and selection of hiring, poor working conditions and unfair dismissals. He called upon the company to stop misleading the nation and address the root cause of the problems facing the company.
"The MUN is a matured union duly authorized to organize the mining sector and a union with a track record," he said.