SKORPION Zinc Mine at Rosh Pinah in the //Kharas region has offered its over 400 permanent workers severance packages as the mine will be put under care and maintenance by the end of this month.

In terms of the lay-off packages seen by The Namibian, the affected workers would receive two weeks’ severance pay for each year of service completed, long-service award payments, retention allowances and a leave gratuity.

In addition, the employer and employees will continue paying their medical fund contributions for three months. Thereafter the company will carry both parties’ contributions over to the medical fund for another three months.

The company will also cover relocation fees, limited to a radius of 1 500 km, and will allow workers with children in school to reside in company accommodation while the children are placed at new schools.

Petersen Kambinda, vice chairman of the Mineworkers Union of Namibia (MUN) in the south, yesterday described workers’ packages as “fair”.

However, he said the union has not yet reached a retrenchment severance payout deal with the company’s management.

Kambinda said the union wants the company management to provide details on how long the mine will be under care and maintenance.

“In principle, we do not reject the retrenchment severance packages offer,” he said.

According to Kambinda, the mine would recall workers affected by retrenchments when operations resume.

The decision to put the mine under care and maintenance would also affect close to 1 000 indirect jobs.

Nora Ndopu, Skorpion Zinc Mine’s corporate communications manager, earlier said the unstable conditions of Pit 112, which poses a risk to workers’ safety, prompted the decision to put the mine under care and maintenance.

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