NAMDEB workers could face a lockout after their employer requested a unresolved dispute certificate last week.
This came after conciliation talks over a wage dispute had reached a stalemate.
Mineworkers Union of Namibia representative Shavuka Mbidhi yesterday claimed that Namdeb management had requested the certificate to force workers to go on strike or to apply for a lockout of workers.
"It is highly abnormal that a company wants its workers to go on strike," Mbidhi remarked, adding that workers won't be provoked into a strike by the company.
"They want to frustrate workers to go on strike as a cost-saving measure to cushion the slowed demand which resulted in a drop of the diamond price. They have a lot of diamonds in stockpile because of the slowed demand," Mbidhi said.
According to Mbidhi, it is likely that Namdeb will apply for a lockout of workers once the parties reach agreement on the strike rules.
"The parties' failure to reach a compromise on the strike rules is the only thing withholding the company from applying for a lockout," Mbidhi claimed.
Mbidhi said the workers would strike when diamond prices recover.
"Workers will actually lose if they go on strike now. We will not go for what they [company] want, but will definitely hit when the economic environment is favourable," said Mbidhi.
The workers demand a 15% increase while the company has offered 7%.
Namdeb brand manager Pauline Thomas could not be reached for comment yesterday.