Fears of Job Losses At Salini Spa

CLOSE to 100 Salini SpA workers face an uncertain future as the company looks to hire Namibia Catering and Contracts Management (Pty) Ltd to render catering, cleaning and maintenance services at the Neckartal Dam construction site.

Government awarded Salini SpA a N$2,5 billion construction tender towards the end of 2013 to build the Neckartal Dam near Keetmanshoop.

Saying they are being kept in the dark over the outsourcing, the affected workers worry they will lose their jobs, and that their current employment conditions will be affected if CCM – a subsidiary of Tsebo Outsourcing Group – offers them a job.

“Our jobs are on the line. We face an uncertain future as our employer (Salini SpA) is tight-lipped about ongoing talks to subcontract CCM to render cleaning, maintenance and catering services,” said an affected worker, who requested anonymity.

“We can’t ask questions. Here, we’re in total darkness. The day we’ll see light may coincide with news that we no longer have a job at the company,” the worker added.

But Salini SpA project manager Fabrizio Lazzarin yesterday rejected claims that the outsourcing move will result in job losses.

Lazzarin admitted the ongoing negotiations between his company and CCM over an outsourcing contract, however was quick to add that the talks also centred around avoiding job losses.

“We want the subcontractor to hire the workers who will be affected,” Lazzarin remarked.

Lazzarin also rubbished claims that some of the affected workers’ employment contracts were already terminated due to the planned outsourcing arrangement.

Saying the company “hire and terminate workers’ employment contracts every week,” Lazzarin added: “I am not aware of the affected workers whose employment contracts were already terminated”. CCM human resource manager, Martin Mbambus, yesterday said it was “too early to tell” whether the company will take over all affected workers as the outsourcing negotiations are still ongoing. “We’ll be guided by Salini during the ongoing discussions regarding the retainment of workers. The ball is in their court,” said Mbambus. Noting the high unemployment rate in the Karas Region, Mbambus said the company will try its best to offer job opportunities to the affected workers.

Source : The Namibian