DESPITE the Mineworkers Union of Namibia (MUN) having a shop steward at the Dundee Precious Metals’ Ausmelt plant in Tsumeb, the trade union says it was not immediately informed about the 3 September incident during which two employees were seriously injured.
On 10 September, Dundee released a belated press statement following Informanté’s inquiries about the incident in which the company’s chief engineer and another unidentified employee were injured.
The company confirmed the incident saying that it occurred on 3 September when employees restarted the company’s primary furnace after routine maintenance.
MUN regional organizer for the northern regions, Brian Tjihero, speculated that the MUN was kept in the dark about the incident perhaps because the victims were not union members, but others suspect that the company was attempting a cover up.
Speaking in an interview with Informanté, Tjihero said that he “heard about the incident” but his union is not yet fully briefed about what transpired.
“We are going to hold an urgent meeting with Dundee’s management to hear what happened and to assess the matter,” he said adding that he could not confirm the number of those who were injured.
“I have yet to find out,” he said.
Job Muniaro, the Secretary General of the National Union of Namibian Workers (NUNW) said Thursday that he was not aware of the incident. “I am hearing it for the first time,” he said in response to Informanté’s inquiries.
He said that there is a trade union representative on site, raising the question why the MUN leadership was not immediately informed.