18 Sep 2013 12:00
OTJIWARONGO, 18 SEP (NAMPA) The Minister of Labour and Social Welfare, Doreen Sioka on Wednesday threatened all companies and businesses still violating workers rights in the country to forget Government tenders until they start to comply with the labour laws.
This is not my decision as Labour Minister, it is a decision that was taken by the Government ruling this country, said Sioka while speaking during a two-day consultative tripartite meeting in Otjiwarongo.
She said that in May this year, President Hifikepunye Pohamba directed the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare to consult with labour-related stakeholders to pave the way forward for labour harmony in the country.
It is for this reason that the tripartite consultative meeting organised by the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare was called to engage trade union representatives, employers and Government representatives in discussions on the matter, said the minister.
Sioka said that although the right for an employee to engage in an industrial action is protected by the supreme law of the country and constitutionally allowed, many strikes across the country undermine productivity of goods and services.
To this end, I call upon all trade unionists in the country to advice their members accordingly before engaging in any industrial action, she advised.
Sioka said the new Labour Law Amendment Act of 2012 is clear on the rights of workers in the labour-hire system, as well as on the problems of temporary fixed-term contracts of employees.
According to this new Labour Law Amendment Act of 2012, an employee is presumed employed indefinitely unless his or her employer justifies with proof that such an employee has been employed on a temporary fixed-term contract.
She then urged Government representatives, employers and trade unionists to see to it that they deliberate thoroughly on the issues that often lead to labour disputes in the country, and come up with best workable solutions in order to cultivate harmony in Namibian labour relations.
Sioka said the destiny of a better Namibia is in the hands of all Namibians.
Therefore, it is incumbent upon all citizens of this country to work together and take the country forward by overcoming challenges of poverty and unemployment among our people, she said.
In attendance were, amongst others, Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Welfare Alpheus Muheua, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare George Simataa, and Labour Commissioner Bro-Matthew Shinguadja.
The meeting ends on Thursday.