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Home / Salary stagnation, pay cuts mark May Day – Tucna

Salary stagnation, pay cuts mark May Day – Tucna

2022-04-27  Kuzeeko Tjitemisa

Salary stagnation, pay cuts mark May Day – Tucna

Trade Union Congress of Namibia secretary general Mahongora Kavihuha says this year’s May Day celebration comes at a time when labour movements are facing stagnated salaries amidst skyrocketing prices of goods and services.

He said this has led the trade union federation to support public service unions in their efforts to pressurise both the employer (government) and the ineffective current exclusive bargaining agents. 

He said this while addressing the media yesterday ahead of this Sunday’s Workers Day celebration. 

May Day, as the day is also known, is a celebration of the international labour movement, and 1 May is a national holiday in more than 80 countries around the world. 

The celebration of workers comes as the labour sector reels from two years of rampant job losses, blamed on the coronavirus outbreak and subsequent lockdown of countries.

In 2020, over 12 000 workers were retrenched as businesses struggle to sustain jobs due to Namibia’s slumping economy, exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic.

More than 380 Namibian employers provided notice to the labour commissioner to retrench 3 244 employees from 1 January 2021 to 31 December 2021. 

According to the acting executive director in the labour ministry, Lydia Indombo, the reasons for the retrenchments were mainly due to economic factors, transfer of businesses as well as re-organisational or operational reasons during the four quarters.

Kavihuha said, this year, May Day will mark what ordinary people want and need. 

“We have observed with concern that discussions around or on the recovery from the effects of Covid-19 are now at an advanced stage worldwide – even here in our country – but again, these discussions are carried out without the involvement of trade unions, who ought to form an integral part of these discussions,” he said.

Hence, he said, the federation’s theme for this year’s May Day is ‘No Meaningful Covid-19 Recovery Without Genuine Trade Union Involvement’.

“May Day will be celebrating everything workers have achieved through the Covid-19 pandemic and all the continuous battles to save jobs to ensure access to quality basic health, education, safe drinking water, and housing, which does not exclude land.

“Workers will further continue to fight for fair and equitable distribution of the wealth workers create,” he added.

According to Kavihuha, the second main disturbing issue revolves around the regulations of the Financial Institutions and Market Act (FIMA).

 “We have already submitted a demand to Namibia Financial Institutions Supervisory Authority (Namfisa) to postpone the 1 October implementation date to a later date to allow Namfisa to start with the comprehensive evidence-based research in order to establish a scientific ground on where and how to transform the current pension regime,” Kavihuha said.

He said this will also provide unions enough time to consult with international partners and also to allow for the finalisation of the Financial Service Adjudication Bill.


2022-04-27  Kuzeeko Tjitemisa

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