Namdeb lifts lockout but strike continues

The lockout lifting gives workers an option to report for duty within three days, or they could face disciplinary actions including dismissal.
In a media statement issued on Wednesday, Namdeb brand manager Pauline Thomas said the lockout lifting was part of the company’s resolve to end the strike entering its third week.
According to Thomas, the labour unrest has cost the company about N$50 million of which more than N$40 million was directly lost by its shareholder, the Namibian Government.
The company also has started civil litigation against striking workers and the Mineworkers Union of Namibia (MUN) to recover revenue losses it incurred due to the strike, which it says is illegal.
It also plans to institute civil action against MUN and individuals in response to various personal attacks levelled against its managers.
MUN Oranjemund branch secretary Gert Iikela yesterday said none of the striking workers had returned to work since the company ended the lockout.
“Even workers who were not participating in the strike have joined us [striking workers] after lockout,” said Iikela.
Charging that the company only wanted to intimidate workers with civil action threats, Iikela said: “We are prepared to resolve the labour battle in court. Namdeb has no ground to stand on.”
Labour Minister Immanuel Ngatjizeko yesterday said consultations between the parties aimed ending the strike were continuing.


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