CoW Cleaners condemn ‘secret’ meeting

Martin Endjala

Mbenda Immanuel, Spokesperson of the City of Windhoek cleaners who were on strike last month confirmed that on Friday, they were summoned to a dump site in Okuryangava by senior officials from the Solid Waste Management Department, to sign charge sheets in connection with the strike.

Immanuel said the officials informed the group that disciplinary hearings will be instituted against the workers because they participated in an illegal strike. He however said they refused to sign the charge sheets.

“We refused and we sent them back. We will not be made to sign things at secret meetings. We demand a formal meeting at the headquarters of the City of Windhoek, with all management and in the presence of the media so that the public can see exactly what is happening. We are sick and tired of these officials always treating us like we are not human beings, making us sign and agree on things in secret. This is exactly why we are where we are today, with no benefits whatsoever”, Immanuel said.

City of Windhoek Corporate Communications and Marketing Officer Lydia Amutenya confirmed that the said meeting took place. She, however did not comment on the charges against the workers. “Yes, it is true. I, however, have not seen the charge sheet to be able to determine the reason provided”, Amutenyasaid.

Immanuel further said that they handed over their petition and are currently waiting for feedback. He also said management has until Wednesday to respond to the petition or the workers will embark on another protest.

“They are now here introducing their illegal secret meetings. What is the reason behind all of this? This looks like an attempt to get rid of us,” Immanuel remarked.

In a petition dated 1 March 2023, the cleaners, of which a majority are street Cleaners highlighted their demands, including abuse of powers by some supervisors, as well as psycho-social support. They further demand salary increases and permanent employment contracts.

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