WINDHOEK – The director-general of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), Guy Ryder, has advised Shoprite Checkers group to engage the local trade union and the government to find a satisfactory solution to the aftermath of the lawsuit instituted by the company against its employees following their strike in 2015.
Shoprite in Namibia came under fire last week when it launched a court action to recoup the losses incurred during the strike in 2015, suing workers for N$4.5 million for embarking on a strike for improved conditions and a 20 percent salary increase.
The retailer has since withdrawn the summons “in the interest of all parties”.
“Of course, I have been informed about the situation in a general way – it is not my job and I cannot intervene in specific industrial situations or disputes, but what I think is important is that the company engage with its employees through their trade union and engage also with government which has an interest in the issue,” stated Ryder.
He was speaking to New Era on the sidelines of the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on Decent Work Country Programme (DWCP), by Namibia and the ILO yesterday. “The ILO does not get engaged in specific disputes but I think dialogue in this way and respect by the company for local practices and government priorities are an important part of the solution and I hope that a path will be found in that way,” said Ryder who arrived in the country on Sunday and left yesterday.
During his three-day visit, Ryder paid a courtesy call on President Hage Geingob at State House. He also met Minister of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment Creation, Erkki Nghimtina, employer and employee representatives as well as the heads of UN agencies in the country.