Monday , December 4 2023

COVID-19 renders 285 mineworkers jobless in Namibia

According to the Mineworkers Union of Namibia (MUN), the mining sector has lost about 285 jobs as a result of the Covid-19 imposed lockdown and state of the emergency regulations.

MUN general secretary Ebben Zarondo, the job losses are from 15 March to date and were recorded at 17 companies in the mining industry.

Namib Lead and Zinc had the highest job losses at 71, followed by D.Y.S Manufacturers with 52 and Lewcor and Kaokoland Mining with 25 and 24 respectively.

Some losses have been blamed on Covid-19 retrenchments, while others are because the mines had to close.

At a press conference on Monday, Zarondo said the numbers above represent a breadwinner of a household somewhere in Namibia.

He stressed that these retrenched workers have lost livelihood and therefore gloom awaits them.

“We stand in solidarity with them and we hope that the whole Namibia will join us to find sustainable solutions to the retrenchments in our country,” he said.

To address the challenge, MUN has called for changes to Section 34 of the Labour Act of 2007.

“Our suggestions are earmarked at making retrenchments a bit costly for the employer to avert it if it was for frivolous reasons.

“We are urging the lawmakers to look at changing Labour Act to make it costly to retrench. The miners must retain the staff members fairly and or substantively or risk losing the Namibian license,” the unionist said.

He added that the union is also recommending that the lawmakers consider changing Section 34.3 (a) which deals with legally privileged information.

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