Industry

Cheetah cement lawyers warn striking workers over untoward behaviour

Summary

Striking employees of the Cheetah Cement factory outside Otjiwarongo on Tuesday were warned to cease from any untoward behaviour such as blocking the entrance to the cement factory, where they have downed tools since last Thursday. In a letter addressed […]

Striking employees of the Cheetah Cement factory outside Otjiwarongo on Tuesday were warned to cease from any untoward behaviour such as blocking the entrance to the cement factory, where they have downed tools since last Thursday.

In a letter addressed to the workers on Tuesday, Windhoek-based lawyers Kopper Linger Boltman Legal Practitioners, representing Cheetah Cement which trades as Whale Rock Cement, indicated that the nearly 200 employees who are camping at the main entrance of Cheetah Cement should not block non-striking employees from entering the premises to perform their official duties for the company.

The workers under the leadership of the Mineworkers Union of Namibia (MUN) were also told to stop blocking trucks destined for the inside the factory to load coal or cement and its products.

Kopper Linger Boltman Legal Practitioners further stated that Cheetah Cement has incurred losses of about N.dollars 3,4 million since the strike started last Thursday.

“The losses of N.dollars 1.2 million per day are also expected should the illegal striking behaviour continue at the gate,” the letter read.

Thus, lawyers gave the striking employees until 11h00 on Tuesday to indicate if they will refrain from the alleged illegal striking as they said lawyers can approach the labour court to seek a special cost scale on an attorney’s own client against the MUN and striking workers for urgent interdictory relief.

MUN chairperson for the northern regions, Mathew Mbariuana in response told Nampa that all striking rules are being adhered to, saying MUN lawyers will also communicate such to the Kopper Linger Boltman Legal Practitioners.

“These lawyers are even wrong to write directly to us, it is the employer who should write directly to us or to the office of the labour commissioner in an event that they are not satisfied with our striking behaviours,” said Mbariuana.

He added that the strike will continue until employees’ demands are met as they are demanding a reasonable salary increase and the introduction of housing allowance, medical aid and pension benefits.

Currently, he said, workers at the factory earn about N.dollars 3 600 with no medical aid, no pension and no salary increase for about four years.

Cheetah Cement General Manager, Kevin Lee last week said there is a deadlock between the management and workers, noting that the company has done everything in its power to conclude the protracted wage negotiations but to no avail, since the employees have unrealistic demands.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency

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