NAFAWU hands over petition to ASSO demanding minimum wages

18 Sep 2013 04:40
WINDHOEK, 18 SEP (NAMPA) – The Namibia Fuel and Allied Workers’ Union (NAFAWU) handed over a petition to the Association of Service Station Owners of Namibia (ASSO) during the latter’s annual general meeting on Tuesday.
ASSO’s annual general meeting (AGM) started at the Midgard Country Estate outside the capital on Tuesday, and ends on Wednesday.
NAFAWU Secretary-General Frans David said at a media conference in the capital last week that members of the union would hand over the petition to ASSO during the AGM.
The petition, a copy of which was made available to Nampa by NAFAWU, said the union had demanded that ASSO removes a clause in its constitution, which allegedly prevents the association from dealing with labour matters on behalf of employees.
It also pleaded for minimum wages of N.dollars 4 500 per month for all employees working at service stations.
“We will make sure that ASSO is coerced as a matter of urgency to remove the illegal clause in its constitution, and to eventually comply with the Labour Act, especially Section 53,” the petition read.
NAFAWU accuses ASSO members of hiding behind that clause in its constitution, blaming it on “tactics of employers to continue to hide behind the grey areas in the Labour Law”.
The union stated that most employers deny workers the opportunity to discuss labour matters as they do not have the majority vote to discuss such issues with service station owners.
Occupational health, safety and the wellness of members who are exposed to dangerous fumes and hazardous substances on a daily basis without proper control measures being in place, are also a priority.
The union is therefore demanding that health surveillance strategies as propounded by the law be put into place “immediately”.
NAFAWU said it is aware of challenges lying ahead, which may hamper members from achieving their set goals and objectives.
“Owners of service stations are united under the banner of ASSO, and they will do everything they possibly can to make sure that we are divided, and then rule us.
The solutions to these problems are easy, we have to stand together, for if we do not, we will forever remain exploited by the employers,” the petition added.
Close to 130 members were transported by bus to Midgard, and took part in the handing-over of the petition.
ASSO chairperson Rupert Harmse confirmed to Nampa on Wednesday that he indeed received the petition on behalf of the association, and said members will deal with the issue during the meeting.
NAFAWU has 800 members countrywide.