AR calls on Rani Group to resolve worker dispute amicably

Stefanus Nashama

Angelina Immanuel, a Northern-based activist and Chairperson of the Affirmative Repositioning (AR) movement, has urged the Oshakati-based Rani Group to amicably resolve the ongoing dispute with its workers before the movement takes decisive action against the company.

This call comes in the wake of Social Activist Michael Amushelelo’s threat earlier this week to shut down one of Rani Group’s shops in Windhoek. Amushelelo alleges that the company suspended over 100 employees at its Oshakati branch.

In a letter addressed to Rani Group Director, Ali Dharani, Immanuel expressed deep concern about the alleged mistreatment and unfair compensation of Rani Group employees, particularly through the contract labour hire system.

“It has come to my attention that several employees have experienced mistreatment and have not received their rightful compensation for their hard work and dedication. This group believes in building the community together as humans,” Immanuel stated.

The reported dismissals of employees allegedly stemmed from a protest in which employees participated to challenge the company’s use of the contract labour hire system for recruitment.

However, Ali Dharani of Rani Group was quoted by a local daily newspaper as saying that the workers were not suspended for joining the protest but rather for being absent from work without permission from the company.

Dharani also defended the labour-hire system as a management decision and suggested that those who feel the company is exploiting workers should seek recourse through the relevant authorities.

Immanuel, who has been a customer of Rani Shops, expressed her disappointment that the same people who had provided her with satisfactory service were dismissed without fair compensation.

“I am disheartened to hear that, instead of addressing these issues, Rani Group is offering bursaries instead of treating the workers with the respect and fairness they deserve,” she stressed.

Immanuel argued that the mistreatment of employees not only violates their human rights but also tarnishes the reputation of the company.

She called for the immediate reinstatement of dismissed workers and the establishment of fair treatment and compensation.

She further requested a swift resolution of the situation, asserting that the company had failed to address the root cause of the matter.

Additionally, Immanuel called on Rani Group to review its policies and practices to ensure they align with ethical standards and prioritize the well-being of workers.

“You must create a work environment that promotes fairness, respect, and equality,” she insisted.

While urging the company to engage with relevant authorities and organizations regarding the dispute, Immanuel warned that if there is no positive response by the end of Wednesday, December 20, 2023, the AR movement may resort to reducing the company’s revenue through the Public Gathering Proclamation Act of 1989.

She also criticized the Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations, and Employment Creation for allegedly ignoring the issue of mistreatment in the workplace by employers.

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