LLD Accepts Olive Branch with Reservations

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By John Ekongo

WINDHOEK

Lev Leviev Diamonds and Polishing Company Namibia (LLD) has accepted the olive branch extended to it by the National Union of Namibian Workers (NUNW), but not without queries.

Responding to a proposal laid on the table by the NUNW’s Evilastus Kaaronda, the head of LLD Namibia, Kombadayedu Kapwanga, expressed his appreciation of NUNW’s efforts.

“We appreciate the concerns of NUNW concerning the labour situation at LLD Namibia. It is also of great concern to us,” announced Kapwanga. However, the embattled diamond polishing company is requesting the union to acknowledge that the June 19 strike was illegal, as well as clarifying whether the NUNW has a mandate to represent the workers. LLD also wants to know from the NUNW whether the workers will continue to picket outside while consultations are going on between the union and LLD.

Kaaronda, when approached for comment, informed New Era that it is premature at this point to respond saying he is drafting a response to the request by the company and wants to keep things the way they have started off now.

However, a source told New Era that the NUNW regards the strike as illegal.
“There is no two ways about it, the strike is illegal and that is the widely known and held notion,” says the source.

On the question of mandate, the source said NUNW has the mandate to represent the workers and that is why it opted to write a proposal to the company. Again on his part, Kaaronda could not comment about this, saying that he would only be able to comment to the media once his response has been received by LLD.

Meanwhile, the company is set to continue with its disciplinary hearing against some workers despite an amnesty plea by the union.

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