NUNW takes on Namcor over forced vaccinations

26 October 2021 | Labour

OGONE TLHAGE



WINDHOEK

Employees of the National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia (Namcor), through the National Union of Namibian Workers (NUNW), are challenging a directive that they be vaccinated against Covid-19 by 19 November.

The company announced that vaccinations would be mandatory.

Namcor CEO Immanuel Mulunga, in a directive dated 1 October, gave the company’s employees until 19 November to have themselves vaccinated against Covid-19, saying: “The company reserved the right to protect its employees, therefore, employees should get vaccinated”.

Hitting back, the NUNW, representing the employees through lawyer Richard Metcalfe, challenged the decision, calling it unfair.

Metcalfe further asked Namcor which vaccine it recommends, what the legal status of such vaccine is, whether the vaccines were experimental and whether the pharmaceutical manufacturer certified that the vaccine it provides was safe for human use.

He also demanded to know whether the contents of the vaccine recommended was toxic to humans and whether any adverse reactions have occurred as a result of the administration of the recommended vaccine.

Take responsibility

“Upon receipt of your replies to the request of the above information, our client will, if the information received shows no harm will be suffered by its members - who are your employees - in receiving your recommended vaccination and you can confirm in writing that our client’s members will suffer no harm from your recommended vaccine, our client will conditionally encourage its members… to obtain your recommended vaccination,” Metcalfe said.

Namcor was further requested to reply by close of business on 5 November, together with an acceptance of full legal and financial liability for any injury, ill-health, loss and or death sustained by any of its employees in the event that the employees agreed to taking Namcor’s recommended vaccine.

A total of 201 009 second doses of vaccines had been administered by 24 October by the ministry of health.

Namibia currently administers the Sinopharm, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson and Astra Zeneca vaccines, while the use of Sputnik V has been suspended.

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