KEETMANSHOOP: A certificate of unresolved dispute in the five-month wage negotiations at the Namdeb Diamond Corporation at Oranjemund, was issued last week Thursday.
Negotiations between the Mineworkers’ Union of Namibia (MUN), as the bargaining unit for about 1 200 Namdeb employees, and Namdeb management started in March this year after employees through the MUN asked for a 22 per cent increment.
Chairperson of MUN at Oranjemund, Shavuka Mbidhi told Nampa on enquiry Sunday that Namdeb asked the conciliator of the Labour Commissioner’s office to issue a certificate of unresolved dispute.
Mbidhi said the union and Namdeb employees have since reduced the increment to 16 or even 12 per cent, but Namdeb management still refused, and only offered to give seven per cent, which the workers turned down.
“It is clear that Namdeb wants the workers to go on strike by constantly pressurising the conciliator to issue a certificate of unresolved dispute. They know if we strike they will not lose anything this time,” Mbidhi said.
Despite the unresolved dispute, there will be no strike, and Mbidhi therefore asked Government to intervene and make things right.
Negotiations will resume again on Monday.
“We just want to be at the same stage with other mining employees in the industry. Currently we are the lowest paid,” Mbidhi said.
Labour Commissioner Bro Mathew Shingwandja confirmed to Nampa on Sunday that Namdeb asked for a certificate of unresolved dispute.
Although he was still waiting for the conciliator to brief him about the results of the wage negotiations, Shingwandja admitted that he heard that the certificate was issued.
“It is actually strange that the company has to ask for an unresolved dispute certificate. The employees are actually tired of striking,” the labour commissioner said.