The strike at Rosh Pinah zinc mine continues after negotiations collapsed yet again on Tuesday.
The strike is into its second week after the workers initially downed tools in February, seeking a salary increment of 12.5 percent, N$2300 underground allowance, 100 percent medical aid cover and an equal production bonus.
There however seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel as the mine’s management team and the Mineworkers Union of Namibia (MUN) could not reach an agreement in their 6th round of negotiations in two weeks on Tuesday.
MUN regional organiser Elvis Bekele said the union had met the company for another round of negotiations but the end result was the same.
He said the workers were willing to go back to work and have scrapped some of their demands, such as an underground and equal production bonus, and reduced their salary increment demands to 11 percent, but the company has not responded positively. He accused the mine management of being unwilling to negotiate even after the workers lowered their demands, saying the company brought nothing different to the table as they remained with the initial offer of 5.5 percent.
“It looks like they don’t want to negotiate, even though they say they are willing,” he said.
Bekele stressed that workers will continue to strike until their demands are met. The mine’s engagement manager Kondja Kaulinge confirmed the breakdown of the negotiations on Tuesday, adding that the company maintained its previous offer of a 5.5 percent salary increase.
He would however not divulge information on the losses the company is incurring due to the strike.
“Rosh Pinah has offered a significant pay increase of 5.5 percent against the backdrop of a challenging economic environment,” he stressed, adding that the mine will continue to negotiate with the union to ensure a sustainable solution for all parties.