The Labour Commissioner’s Office this week awarded Heinrich Kaumbi the first victory in his ongoing dispute with the National Housing Enterprise (NHE) over unfair labour practices when it dismissed two objections the parastatal had raised.
In the first objection NHE claimed the matter had already been decided since it has already been ruled on by the Labour Court. The second objection deals with the issue of jurisdiction.
Clement Daniels, the legal representative of NHE, argued that the application of Kaumbi was more of a review application, upon which a labour arbitrator cannot preside, as s/he has no power to review the decisions of officials acting in terms of an Act of Parliament.
Nixon Marcus, appearing on behalf of Kaumbi, argued that NHE has not established the requirements for past justice, in the sense that the judgment of the Labour Court did not decide the dispute pending before the Labour Commissioner. With regards the second objection, Marcus argued the dispute is not about the incorrect use of powers by the Board of NHE, but against the unfair conduct committed by NHE relating to Kaumbi’s promotion, in that it failed to follow agreed promotion policies and procedures.
Arbitrator Kyllikki Sihlala agreed with Marcus and declined to dismiss the matter and instead ordered that the arbitration hearing be scheduled to take place on September 19 and 20 at the Office of the Labour Commissioner.