Some unions feel left out by Labour Ministry

19 Dec 2018 08:00am
WINDHOEK, 19 DEC (NAMPA) – Disgruntled members from the Namibia Independent Security Union (NISU) and Namibia Security Guard and Watchmen’s Union (NASGWU) say they are disappointed with the Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment Creation.
NASGWU secretary general Andreas Hausiku together with NISU secretary general Simon Kandondo claimed that the ministry is unfairly siding with employers instead of the unions representing the workers on the ground.
In an interview with Nampa on Tuesday, they said the two unions provided the ministry with a list of employers who are not complying with a Government Gazette notice (64164) published in September 2017.
It states that the minimum wage for the entry level of security officers shall be N.dollars 8.75 per hour as from 01 January 2017.
It also states that the minimum wage for all security officers who have, at that time, been employed with their current employer for at least a year shall be paid N.dollars 10 per hour as from 01 January 2017.
Hausiku provided Nampa with a payslip from a security service employee who received N.dollars 2 541 after tax by working on a N.dollars 7 per hour rate.
This payslip was dated in August of this year.
“The ministry then responded with a letter which was addressed to us but never received. We got the letter from the employers,” Hausiku said.
Permanent Secretary (PS) in the ministry, Bro-Matthew Shingudja however said their emails can prove they sent the letter to the unions, adding the claims they were making are false.
In the letter, the PS stated that they cannot act against the employers because there is “a Labour Court case pending against this ministry on the same issue”.
The letter further read: “As a result, it is inappropriate for the ministry to act in a matter as requested that may be construed as an interference in the judicial process.”
The PS stressed that his ministry cannot publish the list of employers or take action as of yet.
“The information they have is not the information we have, we can’t publish something we can’t verify,” he added.
Shingudja challenged the unions, asking if they have complied with the gazette stipulations, whether their annual returns have been submitted and when their last congresses were held - which Hausiku dismissed.
NASGWU said they have a congress every five years and the last congress held was in 2015.
Kandondo said they would hand in a petition to Parliament when they open next year and if no action is taken by before the general elections, he will urge all members of the union not to boycott elections.