Union leaders meet Geingob over lawlessness and job insecurity

12 Sep 2019 17:50pm
WINDHOEK, 12 SEP (NAMPA) – Leaders from different trade unions presented grievances posed by Namibian workers to President Hage Geingob at State House on Thursday, highlighting the lack of supervision, lawlessness and job insecurity, among others.
Speaking during the meeting, Secretary-General (SG) of the Metal and Allied Namibian Workers Union (MANWU), Justina Jonas, said workers are faced with numerous labour problems, among them being jobs that are currently under siege.
She said currently there is no clear law protecting local construction workers, no job security to protect local contractors, which results in job losses for Namibians.
She said it is the prerogative of the government to address and save the construction industry.
According to statistics availed by Jonas, over 10 000 jobs have been lost in the construction sector since 2016.
“For the past three years, we have witnessed job insecurity which entails unfair dismissals, sexual harassment for working women and non-compliance of occupational health and safety [regulations], amongst others,” she said.
Also speaking during the meeting was the SG of the National Union of Namibian Workers (NUNW), Job Muniaro, who stressed that Chinese contractors get bigger tenders but in the end, pay Namibian workers paltry salaries.
He added that Namibian workers are being neglected on capital projects at the expense of foreign nationals, particularly Chinese.
In response, President Geingob said monitoring, implementation, coordination is the cornerstone of any successful business, saying line ministries, agencies and all relevant stakeholders, including the unions, should coordinate for the common purpose of preserving the construction industry and other sectors of the Namibian economy.
He urged his ministers to listen to the people’s problems and solve them instantly.
“If you do not attend to public concerns, whom are you serving?” asked Geingob.
At the same occasion, Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, said as a redress, the government has agreed that all public companies will source their products locally.
She added that the government is being proactive in dealing with the development of the country’s industries, including construction.