Unions should have balanced leadership: ILO

02 Sep 2015 18:30pm
WINDHOEK, 02 SEP (NAMPA) - The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has called for labour unions to have balanced representation in their leadership structures.
ILO Senior Specialist for Workers’ Activities, Inviolata Chinyangarara said during a media workshop here on Tuesday that because anyone can register a labour union Namibia, it is necessary for every union to ensure that its leadership comprises people who have worked in the sectors they are representing.
“A union is an organisation formed by workers to promote and protect workers' rights. You cannot be seen to be promoting the rights and interests of workers who you don't know in a sector that you have no experience in,” she said.
Chinyangarara said academics should also form part of these structures.
She indicated that where there is a lack of experience in a particular labour sector, issues may not be articulated with collective bargaining and policy influence.
“We need to go back to the labour laws and examine the extent to which they are aligned with labour issues. If there are gaps in these laws, then we should encourage Government to close these gaps,” said Chinyangarara.
If gaps within labour laws are not closed, there may be a mushrooming of labour organisations, she noted.
The workshop was hosted by the Trade Union Congress of Namibia (Tucna) on Tuesday and Wednesday to engage local journalists from print, broadcast and electronic media and trade union representatives to build mutually beneficial relationships and to foster effective communication with the media.