LUDERITZ: Trade unions in Lüderitz on Saturday presented Minister of Labour and Social Welfare Immanuel Ngatjizeko with a list of challenges faced by employees at the harbour town.
Issues such as low salaries, unfair dismissal, and a lack of employment benefits were brought to the minister’s attention at a consultative meeting held at the constituency office on Saturday on the challenges employees battle with in their places of work.
Namibia Food and Allied Workers Union (NAFAU) organiser for the union’s Lüderitz branch Jacob Penda, who read out the challenges on behalf of all unions present, also highlighted problems such as a lack of health and safety measures at some companies.
He added that “serious poor relations” between the employers and employees at companies here exist.
“Companies refuse to pay out severance pay to employees, and things like this cause labour unrest,” he said.
Penda also alleged that affirmative action does not exist at some fishing companies.
In response, Ngatjizeko said some of the issues have been brought to his attention already, adding that his office is working on addressing the issues.
He advised that unions should continue bargaining for the benefit of its members.
The minister also added that for a quicker solution to some labour issues, unions should present their problems to the Labour Ministry through its regional offices, so that the ministry can investigate the problems.
“Compile all the facts about these complaints and give them to labour inspectors in the region. They will reach my office and with such facts, we are able to approach the employers and investigate the issues,” Ngatjizeko advised.
Other trade unions which were represented at the meeting are the Namibia Transport and Allied Workers Union (NATAU) and the National Union of Namibian Workers (NUNW).