WALVIS BAY - The Namibia Ports Authority (Namport) has reinstated 53 of the 86 employees that it had dismissed in May this year for taking part in an illegal strike.
Some of the employees already reported for duty last week at Namport’s container terminal, New Era has learned.
The illegal strike took place in August last year after the employees wanted to be represented by the Mine Workers Union of Namibia (MUN) despite the fact that Namibian Transport and Allied Workers Union (Natau) had a bargaining agreement with Namport.
The workers, according to Namport, did not follow the grievance procedures contained in the collective bargaining agreement signed between Namport and (Natau) and were also advised against the strike.
According to an earlier statement by Namport’s acting CEO Kavin Harry, 92 employees initially took part in the industrial action despite being warned and were subsequently charged with misconduct in line with Namport’s disciplinary policy.
An independent chairman who presided over the disciplinary hearing found all employees guilty of the charges against them, resulting in the 86 employees being dismissed and six issued with final written warnings.
As a result, the governor of the Erongo Region Cleophas Mutjavikua also intervened and was instrumental in the reinstatement of the employees.
Harry on Friday told New Era that the 53 employees showed remorse for their actions during the course of the disciplinary hearings and have actually apologised for taking part in the strike.
“The 33 employees did not show remorse on the other hand, hence the company decided not to reinstate them. Their decision to take part in the strike was serious and cannot be taken lightly by Namport,” Harry explained on Friday.
Namport’s decision to dismiss the 86 workers was earlier also met with mixed emotions, with many being of the opinion that the decision was too harsh considering the current economic slowdown, job losses and a severe drought that affect many households.
Eveline de Klerk
2019-07-30 06:33:14 20 days ago