WINDHOEK - Workers at the country’s largest trade union federation, National Union of Namibian Workers (NUNW), face uncertainty due to the federation’s delicate financial situation.
Disgruntled workers of the Swapo Party affiliate federation yesterday marched to the Office of the Labour Commissioner in Khomasdal with placard reading “Respect Workers Rights and Benefits to all.”
The aggrieved workers petitioned the Labour Commissioner Henri Kassen, saying their livelihoods have been affected because of delayed salaries every month by NUNW, resulting in them having to fork out extra bank charges in penalties for defaulting on debt orders.
Workers raised various concerns ranging from the termination of their medical aid; pension fund being in arrears of three months, Inland Revenue tax outstanding for a year and half, water and electricity cut off and social security in arrears for six months.
“We, the staff at the NUNW would like to inform the nation that we have gone through harsh and unbearable conditions for the whole year. We are left with no option but to petition to employer which is NUNW and to inform the public that we are subjected to unfair labour practice,” said Erich Eiseb.
“It is saddening that we have undergone the situation where banking institutions label us as bad debtors and blacklisted us.”
Eiseb said their medical aid earlier this year was terminated and this has put their health at risk, especially workers with chronic diseases.
Eiseb said the trade union failed to uphold and respect the rights of workers as they form part of the custodians of labour rights and Labour Act.
“It is on a sad note that the trade unions do not adhere to the principles they were formed for and to respect the dignity of human life,” Eiseb said while delivering the petition on behalf of others.
He demanded the federation attend to their grievances and threaten to take actions if their grumbles are not attended to.
When contacted for comment yesterday, NUNW Secretary General, Job Muniaro said it is not a secret that the federation just like many other organisations face financial difficulties.
However, he said some of the grievances by the workers are not true.
“I am not aware of any water or electricity which are disconnected, neither am I aware of any tax that is suspended, nor am I aware of any pension that is suspended,” said Muniaro.
“When people talk, they should talk with facts…it is a pity for me, as a custodian of workers, we are not doing justice to that, this is out of my hand, if there is no money there is no money,” said the federation spokesperson.
“Yes the medical aid is suspended and this is because we do not have funds to pay medical aid,” he added.
NUNW currently receive ten percent of the income of its ten affiliates. The federation also receives dividends from its business arm Labour Investment Holdings (LIH). The federation currently employs 12 full-time workers.
2018-10-26 09:10:10 6 months ago