Pick n Pay Namibia yesterday announced it has retrenched 229 employees, citing unfavourable trading conditions.
Pick n Pay had put the redundancy plan on ice in June after entering into negotiations with the Namibia Food and Allied Workers Union (Nafau).
In a memo on Tuesday, Pick n Pay Namibia managing director Graeme Mouton informed employees that the dispute between the retailer and the union was not resolved by the conciliator and therefore the company implemented collective termination this week.
He said this will be done in line with provisions of the Labour Act, with reference to severance pay, accrued leave payout and pension fund benefits.
The retailer in June this year said it was cutting about 25% of its workforce or roughly 500 jobs in light of plans to restructure the company “aimed at reversing losses and setting the business on the path of sustainability”.
Pick n Pay is a 100% Namibian-owned company, which is a subsidiary of Ohlthaver & List (O&L) Group and has a total workforce of 1 931, with 22 retail stores countrywide.
“We are saddened that the current economic situation has necessitated this restructure. With a heavy heart we would like to thank you all for service rendered to Pick n Pay Namibia as we bid you farewell and wish you all the best in your future endeavours,” Mouton said to staff.
Nafau general secretary Jacob Penda yesterday requested the retailer to withdraw its Tuesday letter with immediate effect and to reinstate all employees in the same positions. Penda also wants workers reinstated with the same benefits.
“We are calling on Pick n Pay to respect the joint letter and notify employees through the right channel. To respect the power vested in the arbitration processes by the Labour Act No 11. of 2007. To respect section 34 (6) of the Labour Act No. 11 of 2007,” Penda said.
However, Pick n Pay responded in a statement, saying all employees were lawfully and collectively terminated as provided for in section 34 of the Labour Act.