Govt. concerned with poor working conditions of workers

01 May 2014 13:40pm
KATIMA MULILO, 01 MAY (NAMPA) - President Hifikepunye Pohamba has expressed concern about the poor working conditions endured by many workers in the country.
In a speech read on his behalf by Prime Minister Dr. Hage Geingob during the commemoration of Workers’ Day at Katima Mulilo in the Zambezi Region on Thursday, Pohamba cautioned that any employer who subjects his/her workers to inhumane working conditions is violating the country’s laws and will be dealt with accordingly.
The Namibian Head of State indicated that in order to achieve and sustain productivity, workers must enjoy conducive working conditions.
He pointed out that it is important for the tripartite alliance, being Government, trade unions and workers, to work together to address vulnerabilities which may be faced by workers.
“There should be no exception, Namibian workers in all sectors must be treated fairly and humanly in all their working conditions,” said the president.
The Namibian leader noted that in order to achieve productivity, workers should first be treated with dignity, and thus urged employers and employees to work together to achieve the common aim of increasing and maintaining productivity of the economy supported by social dialogue.
Pohamba stressed that Workers’ Day hold a historic significance to the struggle for Namibia’s independence, saying one cannot talk about independence without recognising the role of the workers.
The president noted that 24 years after the attainment of the country’s independence, he is proud that Namibian workers are an important component in the second phase of the struggle which is economic empowerment and emancipation.
“We are proud that Namibian workers continue to play a pivotal role in the social and economic development of the country, the creation of wealth and in the realisation of our objective to alleviate poverty which affects thousands of our people,” the Head of State said.
He noted that Government has time and again stressed the need to maintain sound labour relations in all sectors of the economy, and in order to maintain harmonious and sound labour relations there is a need for effective dialogue amongst all stakeholders to ensure mutual understanding.
The country’s first citizen advised employers to ensure that the rights of workers are respected and upheld at all times, while workers and unions representatives must ensure that they carry out their obligations at all times
According to him, anyone or company that seeks to violate the rights of workers in the country will face the full wrath of the law.
To ensure that Namibian workers are provided with the necessary skills and competencies to compete with their counterparts in other parts of the world, the president said his government will continue to initiate and implement policies and programmes aimed at imparting skills to people, especially the youth in order to create a modern and productive workforce.
This year’s commemoration of Workers’ Day was held under the theme ‘Maintaining productivity through social dialogue’, a theme meant to emphasize the issue of productivity and dialogue among tripartite alliances.
The commemoration, also known as May Day, was attended by several Cabinet Ministers and other senior government officials, Traditional Authority leaders and trade unionists.