Salt workers determined in their quest

namib times 10 July 2015


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Reporter: Marshallino Beukes

“Yes the strike is still on and the workers are determined to address the salary discrimination dispute.” This was the response of the striking employees at Walvis Bay Salt Holdings, yesterday.

The workers downed tools on Monday, after no satisfactory solution for both parties (company and employees) could be reached. An alleged discriminatory salary structure is one of the workers’ main concerns.

In yesterday’s press release the workers’ union (Mine Workers Union of Namibia) notes that it is sad to mention that their [company’s] conduct of rule-violation has been condoned by the Nami-

bian Police, whilst any unintentional attempt by the workers in breaking the rules is being faced with full force by our own Namibian Police.”

The workers accuse the police of discriminating against them and of only acting in the interest of the company. Workers, dancing during the strike, are supposedly reprimanded if they cross the demarcation line, while non-striking employees are being allowed to do the work of the striking employees, which according to the MUN is unfair practise.

“Our only sincere demand to the Namibian Police is to apply the rules fairly and not to discriminate. Either you remove yourselves or try not to bring our Police Force’s good name into disrepute with your biased conduct in this specific matter,” the MUN states.

As per the statement, Union marshals are also being refused to enter the site by the company.

According to the statement, all this have been brought under the attention of the Labour Commissioner’s Office, but because of their “cosy” relationship, the workers were allegedly told by the Labour Commissioner’s Office to rather opt for an interdict, as it is outside their powers, whilst Rule 3 states the following “…this office is legally and practically responsible for industrial action management, monitoring, and supervision.”

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