WALVIS BAY: A group of angry protestors threatened that if the labour amendment Act is not implemented as from 1 August 2012, they will mobilize all workers in Namibia to take to the streets and petition the government.
The disgruntled protestors under the regulation of the Namibia Food and Allied Workers Union NAFAU stated this, at the harbour town during a petition hand over to the Walvis Bay Rural constituency councillor, John Nangolo, on Thursday.
“Enough is enough of exploitation and the abusing of workers’ rights in Namibia, if this law is not going to be implemented on the said date, we are going to mobilize all the workers of this country to go to the streets and petition the government,” Walvis Bay NAFAU branch organiser, Lister Tawana said at the protest.
The workers under the National Union of Namibia Workers (NUNW) represented by the NAFAU, applauded the Namibian Government for amending the Labour Act no. 11 of 2007 and showed their support by chanting loudly.
According to Tawana, this piece of legislation (labour act) will support the workers of the country who have been oppressed and abused before independence by the South West African Native Labour Association (SWANLA), and after independence by labour hire companies.
“We would like to see the law come into force as there certain elements that are hell bent to make sure that this amendment is not implemented so that the workers suffering must continue,” he said.
In addition NAFAU demands that all the user companies must employ employees on a permanent basis with the same terms and conditions as other employees.
NAFAU claims that no workers in Namibia must work temporally for more than 3 months without being employed permanently. “We want equal treatment of workers doing the same job of equal value,” Tawana exclaimed.
The angry protestor held banners stating that want government to take note of the fact of the lack of ervens and are demanding that land reform to be fast tracked as the lack of shelter has contributed to burning of shacks in informal settlements.
The protestors also demand that the high electricity prices to be brought down or the services given back to the various municipalities in the region. “Urban land, electricity and water should never be privatized or commoditised. The provision of these services must be the obligation of the state,” Tawana added.
Furthermore, NAFAU wants the local councillors to deliver on the promises they made during the 2009 election campaign, that they will take the electricity from Erongo Red. “You must take us for granted; time is running out before we revolt. If no changes are coming soon, you await the revolution,” he said.
The protestors are determined in their cause to alleviate their living conditions and stated that they will continue to demonstrate monthly if their concerns are not addressed until solutions are found regarding their demands.
(edited)WALVIS BAY- Disgruntled workers on Thursday threatened that if the Labour Amendment Act is not implemented on 01 August this year, they will mobilise workers countrywide to take to the streets and petition Government.
The workers protested here, and under the auspices of the Namibia Food and Allied Workers’ Union (NAFAU) handed over a petition to Walvis Bay Rural Constituency Councillor John Nangolo.
“We have had enough of the exploitation and abuse of workers’ rights in Namibia. If this law is not going to be implemented on the said date, we are going to mobilise all the workers of this country to go to the streets,” NAFAU branch organiser in Walvis Bay, Lister Tawana, said during the protest.
The protest comes in the wake of reports that business people in the private sector have asked the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare to delay or postpone the implementation date of the Labour Amendment Act of 2012.
This was after the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare requested all businesses to implement the Labour Amendment Act No.2 of 2012 on 01 August this year.The amended Act stipulates that when a company uses a casual worker from a labour hire agency, that worker becomes an employee of the company, meaning the worker should enjoy the same rights as permanent employees, including protection against unfair dismissal and the choice to belong to a trade union.
According to Tawana, the Labour Act will support workers “who have been oppressed and abused before Independence by the South West African Native Labour Association (SWANLA), and after Independence by labour hire companies.”
The Act further stipulates that the company has to hire temporary workers on the same terms and conditions as its other employees. “We would like to see the law come into force as there are certain elements that are hell-bent on making sure that this amendment is not implemented so that the suffering of the workers can continue,” he charged.
In addition, NAFAU is demanding that no worker in Namibia should work on a temporary basis for more than three months without being employed permanently. “We want equal treatment for workers doing jobs of equal value,” Tawana stated.
The protestors also carried banners stating that they want Government to take note of the shortage of available land, saying they want land reform to be fast-tracked as lack of shelter has contributed to the construction of shacks, and therefore shack fires, in informal settlements.
“Urban land, electricity and water should never be privatised or commoditised. The provision of these services must be the obligation of the State,” stressed Tawana.The protestors indicated that they will continue to demonstrate on a monthly basis if their concerns are not addressed or solutions found regarding their demands.