You have news tips, feel free to contact us via email

Planned TransNamib Nationwide Strike Called Off

Staff Writer

A nationwide strike by TransNamib workers, planned for Monday, has now been put on hold after the railway company approached the labour court, seeking to halt it.

The company instituted an urgent application against NATAU to interdict and restrain the union from conducting industrial action in the form of a strike as planned by the union.

“The urgent application which was filed in the labour court of Namibia is based on the grounds that the planned industrial action does not comply with the strike rules as issued by the office of the labour commissioner,” TransNamib’s spokesperson, Abigail Raubenheimer, said in a statement.

The company further argued that the action by NATAU amounts to severe material breaches of the Collective Agreement between the parties.

The court postponed the matter to 29 July for an urgent application hearing.

TransNamib will, in the meantime, continue operations as usual.

The company is also seeking that NATAU publishes on two of its official social media pages and/or group chats an official communication in writing that the intended nationwide strike is retracted with immediate effect.

According to TransNamib’s letter to NATAU in possession of The Villager, the heart of the matter regards the union allegedly failing to conform to the agreed rules regulating the conduct of the strike, specifically rule 2.2, which states that: “That a strike ballot shall be conducted at the respondent’s premises allowing employees within the bargaining unit to vote on the issues whether the majority of employees are in support of a strike action or not”

“Take note that TransNamib does not recognise the ballot held in April 2022 as same was contrary to the labour act and regulations and in breach of the recognition agreement as already recorded. It is on this premise the parties expressly agreed to clause 2.2 of the rules regulating the conduct of the strike, which NATAU is now in breach of,” TransNamib’s CEO Johnny Smith wrote.

According to NATAU’s national coordinator Helvi Hamukoshi, a long-lasting wage dispute plus the company’s adopted strategy to lay off employees through a voluntary retrenchment was the main bone of contention for the strike that had been planned for Monday. However, there were other labour-related matters too.

“The management has also opened the books to the union to view the seriousness of the situation, but unfortunately, the union has still chosen this route. The management of TransNamib continues to invite NATAU for meaningful dialogue to discuss a way forward that will not have such a detrimental effect on the entity of their proposed action,” Raubenheimer previously said.

The railway company, earlier this year, secured a N$2.6 billion loan from the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA), in partnership with the Development Bank of Namibia (DBN), to implement its five-year business plan.

“There have been no positive responses from TransNamib, so the strike will continue until we get satisfactory answers for our employees. We have a certificate of an unresolved dispute,” Hamukoshi said on Thursday.



Staff Writer

Related Posts

Read Also ... x