AN attempt yesterday by Erongo Governor Cleophas Mutjavikua to intervene in a two-day strike at Rössing and get employees to return to work failed.
The strike is set to enter day its third day today. The workers have brought production to a standstill.
Just before lunch yesterday, the Mineworkers’ Union of Namibia (MUN), the mine management and the regional governor reached an agreement that was meant to resume production at the mine.
However, the workers decided not to budge, saying they were not interested and would not go back to work.
In terms of the failed agreement, all workers would have returned to work immediately and the company would not take disciplinary action against them.
Moreover, the company and MUN branch chairman Ismael Kasuto agreed to find a solution to demands for ‘production incentive’ bonuses within five workdays.
Also, a court interdict with which the company threatened yesterday morning was dropped at the eleventh hour with the hope that workers would return to work pending the signing of the now aborted agreement.
The company will “still institute the principle of ‘no work no pay’ for the time the workers have stayed away from work”, Rössing spokesman Jerome Mutumba said yesterday afternoon.
The workers want a N$30 000 production incentive per employee this year.
Ordinary employees allegedly received N$11 000 per worker based on last year’s production, while managers reportedly received from N$50 000 upwards.
Mutumba yesterday said negotiations were continuing.
Asked whether going to court remained on the cards, he said: “We are still exploring all the options. It’s still our preoccupation to get the workers to return [to work].”
He said an assessment of the production loss caused by the strike is yet to be done.