09 Jul 2013 10:40
WINDHOEK, 09 JUL (NAMPA) - A Namibian worker at a construction site run by Chinese nationals at the Mixed informal settlement near the capital was slightly injured when his employer bumped him with a pick-up vehicle on Tuesday.
This followed a disagreement over wages.
The incident started when workers constructing a warehouse at this informal settlement, situated about five kilometres outside Windhoek, requested their site manager for a salary hike, upon which the manager became angry and turned violent towards his employees.
The site manager, whose name is being withheld until he appears in court, ordered about 18 workers to get onto a pick-up vehicle, and started spinning the vehicle wildly at a high speed.
One of the workers jumped off, and the driver reversed into the direction of the worker in an attempt to chase him and bumped him, causing a leg injury.
The workers immediately called their union, the Namibia Building Workers? Union (NABWU) for assistance, and union officials rushed to the scene and called the Namibian Police Force.
The suspect was arrested, and a case of assault has been opened.
Speaking to Nampa at the scene, NABWU?s national organiser David Simeon Nenkete said the workers were only expressing their dissatisfaction with unfair labour practices committed by their employer.
Workers also asked for protective clothing.
According to Nenkete, his union immediately engaged into negotiations with the employers when they arrived, and an agreement was signed in the end.
The company is expected to comply and implement the content of the agreement within a week without delay, unless a proper explanation is given.
?We came to conclude that all labourers must be paid according to the minimum wage which they are entitled to, plus a double payment if they have to work on a Sunday,? stressed Nenkete.
The employers were also ordered to pay back all monies which were deducted from the workers? salaries unnecessarily.
?We also reached an agreement that none of the employees involved in today?s incident will be dismissed or threatened,? he noted.
Nenkete further urged all employers in Namibia to respect their workers, adding that his union will not 'leave any stone unturned' in combating illegal labour practices.
?Our union will not tolerate such incidences of employers taking the law into their own hands, and no employer is allowed to cause any harm to his employees,? he cautioned.
The union and employers agreed that work will commence on Wednesday morning.