SWAKOPMUND - Chairperson of the Erongo Regional Council, Benitha Imbamba has said that they will not tolerate unfair labour practices this year and will take all necessary steps along with stakeholders to address these practices.
Imbamba was speaking at the first regional council meeting that took place on Friday in Swakopmund.
Her concerns follow shortly after a Shoprite worker at Walvis Bay allegedly committed suicide after suffering verbal and emotional abuse at her workplace, followed by her dismissal.
A two-day demonstration took place where workers and activists asked for the dismissal of Shoprite managers who allegedly bullied Fabiolla Zondjembo (25) to the extent that she allegedly committed suicide by drowning.
In another incident, 43 workers were verbally dismissed after no consensus could be reached for their annual wage negotiations at Uis.
Condemning the unfair practices, Imbamba said the region has been inundated with reports and complaints of workers claiming unfair and ill-treatment by their employers.
“We will not tolerate this and are calling on the labour ministry and unions to engage and end such practices.”
Additionally, Imbamba expressed concern about the unfair treatment of workers at some mines within the region. She noted that although the council is cognisant that mining licences and rights are being issued by the mines and energy ministry, these companies are conducting mining activities within the region’s jurisdiction. “In such incidents, when workers from our region are treated unfairly by these mining companies entering our jurisdiction, they turn to the region’s constituency offices with cries for help,” she said.
Unionist and labour consultant August Bikeur earlier also highlighted the emotional abuse and the constant unfair labour practices many workers face in Namibia.
According to him, many Namibians are subjected to low-end jobs and unfavourable living and working conditions that put them under pressure simply because they have to put bread on the table.
“Youth unemployment at this stage is standing at an alarming rate, and people simply do not have the luxury to leave their jobs. They endure years of unsafe living and working conditions. It is time labour officials randomly visit workplaces and consult employees,” he appealed earlier.