Swakop Spar workers tired of short-term contracts

01 Jun 2016 16:20pm
SWAKOPMUND, 01 JUN (NAMPA) - More than 70 employees of the Superspar grocer in central Swakopmund last week petitioned management, demanding an end to short-term contracts.
Last Thursday, 25 of them staged a peaceful demonstration at the grocer and handed over a petition with demands.
Their aggravation and worry is caused by the recent incident when 15 employees lost their jobs when their short-term contracts ended on 13 May.
Their positions were allegedly filled the same day.
Workers still employed at the shop are now demanding permanent employment for everybody still on short-term contracts.
The Swakopmund branch organiser for Namibia Food and Allied Workers’ Union (Nafau) Rosalia Albert. who represented the employees, confirmed the petition, saying most employees are working on contracts of between two and nine months.
“Every month there is an employee leaving Spar because of these contracts; it is like fire and hire. The employees are tired and need full-time employment,” she told Nampa on Tuesday.
She accused store manager Ryno Du Preez of refusing to talk to her as the representative when she asked for a meeting last week.
Another complaint is that the workers do not have a place to sit and have lunch; instead they sit around the parking lot of the complex. They are now asking management to provide them with a place where they can comfortably eat lunch.
“We want it to be clear that intimidation and victimisation, especially for those who join the union is stopped. We have the right to workplace representation and must be allowed to do so freely,” read the petition.
The workers demanded a response to their petition within four working days from the day they handed it over but by Tuesday, management still did not reply.
Du Preez did not respond to calls from this agency and a text message with queries sent to his number was not responded to by Wednesday afternoon.