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Arbitrator orders employer to pay dismissed workers

Arbitrator orders employer to pay dismissed workers

Staff Reporter

A BUSINESS outlet at Omuthiya in the Oshikoto Region was ordered to pay close to N$140 000.
An amount that represents the cumulative bill of former workers whose dismissal three months ago was found to have been “procedurally and substantially unfair.”

A total of 35 workers of the Rani Group at Omuthiya were dismissed end of last year because of their spontaneous protest against what they perceived to be unfair labour practices.
They did not take it laying down.

Even though the dismissed workers were not yet unionized, the Namibia Food and Allied Workers Union (NAFAU) decided to take up the challenge of taking the matter to the office of the Labour Commissioner.
Albitrator Nikanor Shikangala’s finding was that the workers’ dismissal was “both procedurally and substantially unfair”.

He ordered the employer to pay each dismissed worker a three months salary, what translates into a total amount of N$139 101.65, in other words an average of N$1 300 per month.

“This arbitration is final and biding on both parties hereto and may be filed with the Labour Court by any interested party in accordance with Section 87 of the Labour Act (Act 11 of 2007) to be made a Court Order,” said Shikangala.

Moses Amukoto, a community activist who advised the workers initially before NAFAU was roped in, has expressed happiness for the worker’s victory saying that it should serve as a warning to other employers.
He thanked NAFAU for agreeing to assist the dismissed workers even though they were not members of the trade union, but on the other hand expressed dissatisfaction that the employer was not ordered to revoke the dismissals, apparently because the working relationship between the employer and the employees was damaged beyond repair.

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