Tools down at TransNamib continues despite warning of disciplinary action

Floris Steenkamp

Despite TransNamib suspended all the members of a workers committee this week and threatening with more disciplinary measures, workers of the national rail carrier remain defiant and continues with a tools down action at railway facilities countrywide. The national rail carrier says the tools down action is illegal.
Railway workers at Walvis Bay already downed tools on Monday and the rest of the country followed on Tues-day. Workers initially demanded better salaries, a salary hike and better fringe benefits.
However, when a worker’s committee’s members were suspended on Tuesday, as TransNamib deem them the instigators, the workers expanded their scope of demands which include the lifting of the suspensions against the committee members with no further disciplinary action, the no work no pay rule should be abolished and demanded the resignation of TransNamib’s General Manager: Human Resources, Webster Gonzo.
By late yesterday the workers were still waiting for a reply from TransNamib head office on their list of demands. The workers plan to register a strike with the Ministry of Labour should the reply not be favourable.
On Tuesday already, TransNamib’s Chief Executive Officer Mr. Johny Smith, in a memorandum, informed workers their industrial action is illegal and those who do not report for work face disciplinary procedures, including summary dismissal if they stay away from work for more than four consecutive days. Workers were also warned not to intimidate non-striking workers, that a no work no pay arrangement stays in place and that no gathering of workers to take place without the company’s permission.
Smith in his memorandum urged workers to return to their work duties so that a collective effort can continue to improve the state of affairs at TransNamib. It is no secret that TransNamib is one of the most inefficient, uneconomic and cash gobbling semi-state institution in Namibia. Some-thing Smith is determined to turn around and make the national rail carrier the pride of the country.
“I would like to once again appeal to each and every one of us to keep a keen eye on only delivering on our brand promise. Do not feel victim to empty promises of the misinformed or the mischievous. Come to work with due diligence and dedication. Deliver on your tasks and I promise you a rewarding work experience. Let us use this opportunity to learn and grow and to never repeat the same mistakes again”, Smith appealed to workers.

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