TUCNA condemns media inclusion as 'essential service'

28 Jan 2015 12:48pm
WINDHOEK, 25 JAN (NAMPA) – The Trade Union Congress of Namibia (TUCNA) has strongly condemned government plans to declare the media and other services such as railway transport and mining as 'essential services.'
TUCNA President, Paulus Hango, made the the remarks during a media briefing here on Friday, following media reports earlier this month that the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare plans to classify these sectors as services essential.
The union expressed its position regarding Government's recommendation to declare courts, the media - which includes print, electronic television and radio - as well as rail transportation and mining operations as essential services.
TUCNA noted that this will lead to exploitation of workers in these industries.
The union made its position clear that it would not allow workers’ rights to strike to be taken away, since the workers have the right to strike if they are subjected to harsh treatment by their employers, or when they seek an improvement in their condition of employment.
He said the right to strike is a fundamental foundation of democracy and economic justice and if workers are denied that particular right, they will not have any means of defending themselves which will lead to employers exploiting workers.
“The employers and governments that try to take away the workers right to strike are making themselves the enemies of the workers. We will refuse to work with them and treat them like criminals,” he added.
He noted that if employers are allowed to succeed in eliminating the right to strike, the consequences will be severe for the workers and the workers will be slaves of the employers.
The union's Secretary General (SG), Mahongora Kavihuha, urged the Namibian population to rally behind it in order to ensure that these rights are not taken away.
Kavihuha further said if the government put into action such proposal, TUCNA will be forced to take the matter to the international court of justice to be resolved in accordance with the International Labour Organisation(ILO) provisions.