Namib Mills staff demonstrate against unfair labour practices

WINDHOEK: Close to 200 workers at Namib Mills on Monday staged a peaceful demonstration during lunchtime here against alleged unfair labour practices.

The workers complained of a weak salary and unfavorable working conditions at the company.

They handed over a petition to the company’s management team that contains their grievances and demanded immediate responses to their complaints.

‘With this petition, we want to draw the attention of the management of Namib Mills about the on-going discrimination, victimization, harassment and the silly dismissals of workers by the company’s managers. We wish to inform Namib Mills Office that the workers at Namib Mills condemn and despises the current employment conditions as a result of the behaviors and arrogant attitude of the company’s managers,’ reads the petition.

The demonstrating workers are all reported to be members of the newly-established Namibia National Labour Organization (NANLO), which is being spearheaded by trade unionist firebrand Evilastus Kaaronda.

During the demonstration, the workers bitterly complained about the alleged inconsistency by the company’s management in applying disciplinary rules, and the provisions of its Code of Conduct.

They claimed that the disciplinary rules and Code of Conduct are all outdated, hence the need for a review of these working documents.

They further accused the company of unilaterally changing the working conditions of the workers and dismissing the workers without fair or proper disciplinary hearings being conducted.

The workers are further demanding the immediate removal of managers Elize Dawson and Morgan Mouton, who they accused of disrespecting both the workers and the country’s labour laws.

‘We (workers) are demanding the immediate removal of the arrogant and ignorant Elize Dawson and Morgan Mouton with no further delays. We believe that the continued presence of these two managers will lead to increased labour unrest at the company and, ultimately, to low and poor productivity, ‘ said the workers.

The toy-toying workers carried placards that read: ”We want better salary and working conditions. Stop Exploiting the General Workers. Elize Dawson and Morgan Mouton Must Go.’

Christian Haingura, a NANLO Shop Steward at Namib Mills read the petition on behalf of his fellow workers.

A member of Namib Mills management team, who refused to disclose his identity to journalists, received the petition on behalf of the company and promised to give response to the workers’ grievances within a short period of time.

It is reported that a general worker at Namib Mills only receives a monthly payment of about N.dollars 1 500, which is considered low by market standards.