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NBL backtracks on laying off 31 temporary workers

Namibia Breweries Limited (NBL) has reversed its decision to terminate the contracts of 31 fixed-term employees on Friday.

This comes after The Namibian on Tuesday reported on the company’s plans to let these line production workers go.

The employees initially received one month’s notice on 1 June, informing them their contracts would not be renewed after 30 June.

The sudden termination would have left these workers without employment, plunging them into financial uncertainty at a time when the job market is already challenging.

According to one of the workers who would have been jobless after Friday, they had a meeting with management yesterday afternoon, during which the company moved to reverse the decision to let them go.

“We had our meeting and the company decided to keep us. On Friday, we are expected to receive revised contracts and the way forward. We are very happy about this,” the worker said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

NBL had previously justified its decision by stating that the fixed-term contracts in question were not being renewed as agreed upon at the time of their commencement.

Acknowledging the existing unemployment situation, the company cited current productivity levels as a factor that necessitated the difficult decision. However, this decision was reversed yesterday.

The Namibian yesterday reached out to NBL for comment on the matter, which was declined.

“This is an internal matter, and there is no further comment,” NBL spokesperson Surihe Gaomas-Guchu said.

The news of the terminations has raised concerns among the affected employees and the public alike.

Many questioned NBL’s commitment to its workforce and criticised the potential impact on the livelihoods of these workers.

Heineken, the renowned Dutch multinational brewing company, became the parent company of Namibia Breweries Limited following its acquisition of Ohlthaver & List’s stake in the national brewer earlier this year.

As part of the conditions of the acquisition, it was stipulated there would be a five-year prohibition of laying off employees below management level at NBL.