BC Stone management responds to petition
22 October 2020 | Labour
Lovina Plato; BC Stone Products; “No employee is dismissed without a substantively fair reason and without adhering to a fair process.”
Employees of BC Stone Products Namibia handed over a petition to their management, highlighting grievances pertaining to the company’s legal officer on Wednesday.
According to shop steward chairman Ndunda Benhard, they feel threatened by the presence and the actions of one Chris Theron.
“Three of our colleagues have been unfairly dismissed because of him. Another colleague’s disciplinary hearing is ongoing and we do not know what will happen to him,” Benhard alleged.
In a response to the petition, the company’s human resource manager Lovina Plato said that the company conducts all disciplinary hearings within the confines of the law.
“All hearings are chaired by external chairpersons skilled in the field of labour law. Ultimately, it is the chairperson who recommends a sanction appropriate to the offence, and in line with the company's code of conduct, upon conviction of a disciplinary infraction.”
Plato stated that management is well acquainted with the merits that underlie the recent dismissals, as alluded to by the union.
“We stand by our decision to terminate the services of these individuals. Management is confident that the procedures followed and the reasons for dismissal, will stand up to scrutiny from the office of the labour commissioner and we welcome further investigation by the appropriate authorities.”
The employees accuse Theron of calling them “empty black rolling tyres” and said he is aggressive towards the shop stewards, and does not act with impartiality and integrity when conducting disciplinary hearings.
It has come to light that the Chris Theron the workers are referring to as standing as a local authority candidate for JWRA is not the same Chris Theron employed by BC Stone.
Plato confirmed that these are indeed two different people, saying that the Chris Theron standing as a candidate for JWRA has never worked for BC Stone.
“I have no knowledge of this petition or the workers plight. Even if I were to be involved in labour matters, I would have given them far better advice than petitioning,” JWRA’s Theron said, demanding that the union apologise for bringing his name into disrepute.