Namibia: government and unions waking up to exploitation by foreign miners
“A lot of mining companies are at it to exploit people together with the minerals. They either employ people on fixed term contracts or outsource certain functions of their business simply to reduce labour costs,” he said.
“This practice results in poverty jobs where employees of these contractors sometimes earn as little as 20% of the basic salary offered by the Eastern Platinum (EPL) holder for the same job.
|Second mining expo to be held amid fears of ‘nationalisation’|
|Namibia Economist, by Nyasha Francis Nyaungwa|
|13 MAY 2011|
|The 2011 Mining Expo which kicks off next week in the capital is being held at a time when the mining sector faces uncertainty after government recently declared uranium, copper, coal, diamonds and rare earth metals as strategic minerals.
Last month, government through cabinet endorsed a decision that the right to own licenses for strategic minerals will only be issued to a state company.
The dramatic shift in policy has caught many investors and would-be investors unaware …..“….the mining sector’s contribution to government revenue is not commensurate with its share to the gross domestic product. Such contribution is mainly through royalties levied on the market value of the minerals. This means that Namibia benefits from its natural endowment mainly through rent-seeking. This situation is untenable” the minister said……http://www.economist.com.na/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=23739:second-mining-expo-to-be-held-amid-fears-of-nationalisation&catid=588:special-focus&Itemid=70
President of the Mineworkers Union of Namibia (MUN), John Ndeutepo, says that in order to create a conducive labour environment for workers in the mining sector, there is a need for a paradigm shift…. companies try by all means to prevent its employees from being organised. Some even deny them their rights to freedom of association. It is a proven fact that one cannot make people work any longer; you will need to motivate workers in order for them to perform,” Ndeutepo added.
He said that the mining labour sector is faced with great challenges that calls for urgent change. One such challenge is the ability of unions to address labour issues involving contract and agency labour cases.
Some multi national companies do not even bother to monitor adherence especially when it comes to contractors and they even end up corrupting compliance officials,” he said.
Ndeutepo also called for the recognition of unions in the sector. He said that a lot of companies cannot yet get any returns from this relationship as they view the union as an enemy.–http://www.economist.com.na/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=23738%3Aunion-calls-for-a-paradigm-shift-within-the-mining-industry&catid=588%3Aspecial-focus&Itemid=70
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