UPDATE 1-Namibia mine union readies for strike at Rossing

Wed Sep 21, 2011 2:20pm GMT

* Union gives strike notice, to walk off Friday

* Rossing seeks to prevent strike via court

By Servaas van den Bosch

WINDHOEK, Sept 21 (Reuters) - The Mineworkers Union of Namibia (MUN) on Wednesday threatened Rio Tinto's Rossing uranium mine with strike action, prompting the company to seek court action to stop it.

MUN served the company with a strike notice after failing to reach a deal in talks over output incentives, with a stoppage slated to start on Friday.

MUN, which represents some 1,200 of Rossing's 1,600 workers, has been protesting over differences in bonuses paid to workers and management in a dispute which has already caused a three-day illegal strike in July.

"We have served the company with a notice to strike today (Wednesday)," MUN's Rossing branch representative Ismael Kasuto told Reuters, adding that the strike was set to commence on Friday at 0600 GMT.

Rossing in turn said it had approached a labour court to have the dispute settled via a judicial process, which would block workers from striking.

"This morning Rossing filed a Labour Court motion seeking that the ... (dispute) be determined through the court process and also that employees can, therefore, not engage in industrial action until the motion is heard," the company said in a statement.   Continued...

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