Namibia: Mine workers bemoan discriminatory benefits

A group of small scale miners try to start up an old metal mine in Uis, Namibia on February 13, 2008. The men are mining for tin that will be sold to a German company for use on computer mother boards. AFP PHOTO / Alexander Joe (Photo by ALEXANDER JOE / AFP)

Hundreds of Basil Read Namibia workers at Skorpion Zinc at Rosh Pinah have been on a wildcat industrial action over alleged discriminatory employment benefits since Friday, last week.

In a petition to management, the workers claimed that the company was racially discriminatory in workers’ remuneration.

The management refused to acknowledge the petition. The striking workers also accused the company of “using overtime to inflate the salaries of some employees,” while claiming that only employees working at the mine’s plant receive housing and remote areas allowance benefits.

According to the workers, foreigners are also employed as surveyors and finance managers at the expense of qualified Namibians.

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Further claims of “discriminatory preferential treatment” with employees’ accommodation were made.

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