Job uncertainty clouds Rosh Pinah

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WALVIS BAY – Close to 200 employees of the Rosh Pinah Zinc Corporation face possible retrenchment early next year.

The shocking revelation was made on Friday by insiders and some employees of the zinc mine situated in //Karas Region.

The possible retrenchment follows just a month after the Mine Workers Union of Namibia (MUN) at Rosh Pinah submitted a proposal on wage increments next year, some workers revealed.

Disgruntled Rosh Pinah workers upon enquiry on Friday told New Era that no official word about the planned retrenchment has been communicated to them.

“However, news about the retrenchment has spread like wildfire at the mine since last week.  Apart from that we noticed that our top management has been in and out of meetings lately,” said one worker, adding that the information has been communicated to the Minister of Labour and Social Welfare, Doreen Sioka.

Rosh Pinah insiders said the situation is “critical” as the workers are unhappy that no discussions were held with them or their union representatives regarding the possible retrenchment.

“Things have dramatically changed around here. People are being fired for simple things,” one of the workers said.

New Era also learned that that a team from the mine apparently briefed the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare on Friday in Windhoek with regard to the possible retrenchment.

When contacted for comment, Eben Tjarondo, the Mine Workers Union (MUN) branch organiser at Rosh Pinah yesterday said the shop steward only “informed” him on the issue and that he could not comment any further on the matter as information was lacking.

He then confirmed that a proposal on wage negotiations was handed to Rosh Pinah management about a month ago.

“It is just strange that they are planning to retrench some workers and if this is true it is happening while we have documents in our possession that clearly show the company is not in a bad financial situation,” he said.

He however told New Era that he would only be able to make a statement today after meeting with management.

Management could not be reached at the time of going to print yesterday.

Rosh Pinah Zinc Corporation operates as a lead and zinc mining company which is believed to employ more than 600 people.

The company was founded in 1999 and is based in Rosh Pinah, southern Namibia. As of June 11, 2012, Rosh Pinah Zinc Corporation (Pty) Ltd operated as a subsidiary of GlencoreXstrata, one of the world’s largest diversified natural resource companies.

By Eveline de Klerk

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