ONGWEDIVA, 22 MAY (NAMPA) - The Metal and Allied Namibian Workers Union (Manwu) is accusing northern construction companies of non-compliance of the country?s labour laws by paying their workers below the minimum wage.
This trade union believed owners of construction companies, which are involved in Government capital projects in the north, pay their workers less then N.dollars 11.11 per hour, the minimum wage required by the Namibian Labour Law for labourers in the construction industry since 1993.
According to the Manwu leadership, most of the companies that are ignoring the requirement of the law are owned by black Namibians and some Chinese.
These, the Manwu leadership said, are the companies which are mostly contracted in projects under the Targeted Intervention Programme for Employment and Economic Growth (TIPEEG) and the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA).
The union went on to say the owners of such companies are ignoring the law, because they know they are politically well-connected or influential politicians are shareholders.
Speaking during a media conference, General Secretary of Manwu Justina Jonas said her trade union is seriously concerned with companies which do not comply with the country?s labour laws, and it is seriously urging them to start complying.
?We urge the construction employers, especially here in the north, to immediately start complying with the minimum wage agreement and not wait to be confronted by Manwu,? Jonas stated.
She demanded that non-compliant construction employers grant their workers their share, instead of being greedy and robbing the workers of what is rightfully theirs.
?The construction industry is booming and if the workers are paid the minimum wage, this will assist the government?s efforts to alleviate poverty,? Jonas explained.
She also called on the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare to assist her union to do a national inspection at all construction sites to ensure that workers are paid their proper wages, and that all health and safe standards are adhered to.