• February 17th, 2020

Over 500 retrenched in three months

Kuzeeko Tjitemisa 

WINDHOEK – About 514 workers were retrenched in various sectors of the economy in the fourth quarter of the 2017/18 financial year, with the construction sector accounting for the biggest number – 172 – of those laid off.
This is revealed in the Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment Creation quarterly (January – March 2019) report.
The construction sector is followed by wholesale & retail (122), and accommodation & food activities sectors ((95) bringing the total number to 514 of workers laid off from January to March this year.
According to executive director of the labour ministry Bro-Mathew Shinguadja’s summary report, the number of those retrenched is a drastic decrease compared to all the other three previous quarters of this financial year.
He said factors that led to retrenchment were economic, transfers of businesses, termination of donors’ funding to organisations (non-sustainability after donor funding fades away) and closure of businesses. 

Also, Shinguadja said during the same period the Office of the Labour Commissioner handled about 1,358 labour disputes, an increase of 310 cases compared to the last quarter. 
“This is a worrying increase as it is the ministry’s vision to see a decrease in numbers of cases referred. Only 521 cases that counts for 38 percent of all these cases have been resolved successfully,” he said.
“It is a common practice that many cases are being dragging on for too long due to circumstances that are sometimes beyond the labour commissioner’s control, a situation that the ministry wishes to change in the future,” he added.
Shinguadja says the ministry strives to see harmonious industrial relations in the country and is hoping that employee-employer relations continue to improve through social dialogue and good faith collective bargaining. 
Also, he said during the same period, the ministry recovered an amount of N$766,290 owed to employees by employers in terms of outstanding salaries, overtime, leave days and severance pay.

According to him of the N$766,290.00 that was recovered, N$311,035 was recovered from the central region while N$147,763 was recovered from the north-east regions. 
Shinguadja said the ministry during the said period recorded six accidents. 
“It is disappointing that the number of incidents occurring at workplaces has increased compared to all the other previous quarters. It becomes worrisome when injuries at workplace increase rapidly and worse of all when loss of lives is being recorded,” he said.
He said the workplace is supposed to be a place where everybody’s health and safety is treated as a priority concern at all times, adding that the ministry wishes the country to record zero accidents at the workplace in future.
Shinguadja said the Employment Service Bureau (ESB) received 507 vacancies notifications during the said period.
Of 507, he said, 103 were reported from wholesale, retail, repair of motor vehicles and motor cycles sectors while 88 were reported from mining and quarrying. 

Moreover, Shinguadja said the ministry only managed to place 183 jobseekers from the Namibia Intergraded Employment Information System (NIEIS) this quarter. 
This, according to Shinguadja, is an indication that the economy is stagnant hence unable to create new jobs in great numbers. 
Shinguadja says the quarter being the last one of the financial year has not been an extraordinary one in terms of budgetary constraints. 
However, he said against all odds the ministry managed to satisfactorily carry out its planned activities, which is an indication of the ministry’s concerted efforts to do more with less. 
Caption (Construction): 

Laid off… About 514 workers were retrenched from various sectors of the economy recently.

Kuzeeko Tjitemisa
2019-05-17 08:54:46 | 9 months ago

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