By: Dwight Links
A Mineworkers Union of Namibia (MUN) member, Tuhafeni Petrus, was dismissed by the union at the back of accusations that he was recruiting fellow members to the Affirmative Repositioning movement’s Revolutionary Union (R.U).
Petrus received his marching orders via a letter on 8 September 2021.
Other reasons for booting him out of the union are that he made an audio recording lambasting the miners’ union and other reasons that have not been specified.
The termination letter, which has been seen by The Villager, was signed by the assistant general-secretary, Paulus Situmba.
Meanwhile, the R.U is perceived to be a cross-sectorial union, meaning it is seeking to represent workers from all work backgrounds.
However, Petrus has not denied that he was busy taking over fellow members to the R.U, which is set to join many of the MUN rival unions.
“I am recruiting members to the R.U as their rights are not completely protected in this industry. I am currently one of the employees from the Best Cheer Investments Company that has been laid off,” he added.
Best Cheer Investments is said to be a Chinese-owned company which has been fighting a long drawn out labour dispute with miners this year.
Petrus labelled the current format of labour rights protection as ‘tea and coffee meetings’, which according to him do not produce results.
The fired miner was a regional chairperson and shop steward for the union since 2014 and involved in recruiting members to the M.U.N. in the smaller mining and quarrying companies in the Karibib area.
Petrus is also currently an employee of Best Cheer Investments, a marble processing company whose employees laid down tools from 12 April to 9 June because of failed wage negotiations.
“Best Cheer decided to retrench the employees, which includes me and I asked the union before this latest development to represent us as members,” Petrus said.
Earlier this year a list of employees wasdrawn for retrenchment that included M.U.N. representatives, including Petrus himself.
The reason for the retrenchment was because the Best Cheer operations at the quarry were becoming a liability, according to the workers.
The company at that time said that shipping costs were the main reason for downsizing operations at the quarry and that Chinese companies operating abroad have been affected by other knock-on tariffs.
Meanwhile, A.R. made headlines earlier this week after they stormed the offices of Jiahua Construction company in the plight of workers there.
Simon Amunime, spokesperson of the movement, said that all rights of workers will be protected by the R.U.