By: Hilma Tuukondjele
TransNamib has accused Namibia Transport and Allied Union (NATAU) and its striking workers of harassment, intimidation and bullying of non-striking workers.
Abigail Raubenheimer, the corporate communications manager at TransNamib, said that the management has irrefutable evidence of intimidation of the said non-striking employees by NATAU Officials and striking workers.
“The striking employees and NATAU officials have breached the Strike Rules by entering TransNamib premises and threatened working employees, making them feel unsafe in their working environment,” she said.
She added that acts of sabotage and malicious property damage, including the company’s machinery, have taken place, with striking employees damaging company equipment and thereby putting the lives of non-striking employees at risk.
“The bullying and intimidation tactics are to such a great extent that TransNamib has had to call in the Namibian Police for assistance in the areas of Keetmanshoop, Tsumeb, Walvis Bay and Windhoek to stop the harassment, and criminal charges have been laid against those responsible,” she stressed.
TransNamib workers downed tools on 17 August following an impasse with the company and their representative union on a salary increment. The workers are demanding a 10 per cent salary rise.
Raubenheimer further said that TransNamib had consulted the company’s lawyers to address the matter through the relevant legal channels to ensure that the non-striking staff members are protected while they carry out their duties and ensure that the customer’s interests are protected at all times.
Meanwhile, NATAU’s national coordinator Helvi Hamukoshe said that the Memo serves to inform and sensitize all members currently on strike countrywide to remain calm and steadfast amidst allegations made by TransNamib management concerning violation of strike ground rules.
“I’m not aware of the allegations, and most of the allegations that are made are because they are personal and they are trying to accuse workers and make workers look violent and don’t comply with the rules, and as far as I’m concerned, there are no such reports because we are also doing our own investigation,”
If the management reports such incidents, they must come forth with all evidence, and action should be taken based on the material facts or evidence she added.
She urged the members to be vigilant and comply with the rules by all means and alert the office for any suspicion of violating the same rules by the company and not take the law into their own hands.
The union has also announced that it will hand over a petition to the minister of finance, Iipumbu Shiimi, on Tuesday and urged all Windhoek-based workers to gather from 14h00.