Labour relations in Namibia improved: Shinguandja

17 Feb 2015 15:30pm
WINDHOEK, 17 FEB (NAMPA) - The current state of labour relations in the country shows positive improvement because of the practice of collective bargaining adopted between employers and employees, Labour Commissioner Bro-Matthew Shinguandja says.
Speaking during a stakeholders’ meeting hosted by the Metal and Allied Namibian Workers’ Union (MANWU) in the capital on Tuesday, he said that despite the positive improvement some employees still face challenges such as the lack of housing and transport benefits.
The employers of such workers do not even want to discuss the possibility thereof, said Shinguandja.
Another challenge is capacity-building.
He said there are still employers in the country who do not send their staff members for training and staff development, adding that employers instead concentrate on productivity and profit making only and care less about the well-being of their employees.
The Labour Commissioner stressed that there is a growing “anti-trade unionism” in the country, especially from foreign investors and small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
Although invited by the government to invest in Namibia, foreign investors forget that while doing business in Namibia they should follow and comply by the country's labour laws, while SMEs always say they are upcoming businesses, he said.
“Many of us blame the Chinese businesspeople for not complying with the country's labour laws but they are learning from us,” said Shinguandja.
He said failure by the government to exert pressure on non-compliance by employers is another challenge, noting that the signals from the government are not clear as to whether they stand by the employees or the employers.
Speaking at the same meeting, National Union of Namibian Workers (NUNW) Acting Secretary-General Job Munjaro called on employers, employees and the unions to take hands and work together for the betterment of the country's economy.
He said that there are still employers who are mistreating and denying the workers their benefits, which if not provided, can lead to stress and frustrations.
“Unions are ready to take hands and we are here to share, not only to demand and complain; we can also give solutions,” Munjaro said.