OTJIWARONGO: Former Deputy Prime Minister (PM) Dr Libertina Amathila has urged domestic workers to establish a trade union that will fight for their needs and rights.
“I will even make sure the head of the trade union is a woman who knows and understands women’s problems,” she said whilst speaking in her capacity as Chairperson of the Namibia Domestic Workers’ Wages Commission at an information-sharing meeting held in Otjiwarongo on Saturday.
Amathila stated that the domestic workers, the majority of whom are women, should “sit down one day” and establish a trade union which will start fighting for their needs and rights, especially in terms of wages.
The Namibia Domestic Workers’ Wage Commission started conducting information-sharing sessions country-wide in June this year, in order to obtain different views on the salaries and working conditions of domestic workers.
The commission was launched in the capital on 14 May 2012, with a view to establish a minimum wage for all domestic workers in Namibia.
Saturday’s meeting at Otjiwarongo was also meant to consult the workers here, so that their views become part of a report to be compiled by the commission.
The hundreds of domestic workers and employers who attended the information-sharing session at the Vooruit Primary School Hall were asked to complete a questionnaire which is being used to collect data on topics such as the minimum wage.
The 10-page questionnaire amongst other things also seeks information on the workers’ education background, the nature of their employment, working conditions and payment, benefits and their knowledge of trade unions.
The information collected on the questionnaire will be analysed and a report will then be handed over to Minister of Labour and Social Welfare Immanuel Ngatjizeko in February 2013, said Amathila.
Otjiwarongo Constituency Councillor Otto Iipinge and Otjozondjupa Regional Education Director, Faustina Caley also attended the meeting.