Strike Looms at Skorpion

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By Desie Heita

Windhoek

The Mineworkers Union of Namibia has given Skorpion Zinc Mine notice of an industrial stayaway effective today at midnight.

Skorpion Zinc Mine has been locked in negotiations with the Mineworkers
Union of Namibia (MUN) over wages and salary increments since April 21.

“We have received the notice of strike and obviously we are doing everything we can to avert the strike,” spokesperson for Skorpion Zinc, Usi //Hoebeb, said yesterday.

Negotiators for the mine management and the union failed to reach consensus on their own and went to a conciliation board on April 29 and 30.

Arbitration by the Namibian Labour Commissioner failed, leading to the call for a strike. MUN members make up nearly three-quarters of Skorpion Zinc’s 650-strong workforce. Anglo Base Metal owns the Skorpion Zinc mine.
Yesterday, the two parties held a meeting in Windhoek to solicit legal advice on the best route to take.

The best route, it seems, is an industrial strike. Sources also said that the mine decided to lock out the workers.

The union initially asked for a 15 percent increase in wages, while the mine offered 11 to 12 percent. The union is accusing the mine management of negotiating in bad faith as it eventually dropped its initial offer to a 10 percent across-the-board increase.

Situated 25 km north of Rosh Pinah in southern Namibia, Skorpion Zinc produces 150??????’??

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