Illegal industrial action by employees of the Namibian Ports Authority during August of 2018 on the premises of Namibia’s main port in Walvis Bay because of a change in their working conditions of their employment, led to the eventual dismissal of 86 of the people involved on Friday.
In anticipation of further action and possible reprisals by the dismissed workers, Namport intensified and elevated security measures at its premises and installations to minimise risk of any nature to its property and other employees.
According to an internal memorandum addressed to employees by Kavin Harry, Acting Chief Executive Officer of Namport, he said that following the illegal strike in the container terminal in August last year disciplinary action was taken which eventually led to charges of misconduct against those involved.
“The charges were in line with Clause 4. 5 of Namport’s Disciplinary Policy and 86 employees were dismissed. Six Employees were issued with final warnings after they were found guilty of misconduct in line with the company’s disciplinary policy.”
Namport has since appointed an independent arbitrator to preside over the disciplinary hearings where the 92 employees were found guilty of the charges against them.
The employees affected by the severe disciplinary action failed to follow the proper grievance procedures contained in the collective bargaining agreement signed between Namport and the Namibian Transport and Allied Workers Union (Natau).
At the time of the illegal industrial action Namport employees claimed that Natau did not consult them on changes to the conditions of their employment. The striking workers wanted to join and be represented by Mineworkers Union of Namibia (MUN) because of alleged corruption and victimisation by the Natau leadership.
In his memorandum Harry said the employees went ahead with the illegal industrial action despite being cautioned not to do so by both the management of Namport and union bosses.
“This unfortunate turn of events will regrettably result in disruptions of our service rendering capability. While management has put in place measures to mitigate the impact of such disruptions, we are all urged to render our support when so requested and those specifically required, will be engaged directly by their respective supervisors,” Harry said in his memorandum.
He further requested Namport employees to renew their commitment to continue working towards the best world class port in Africa.