NUNW condemns mistreatment of workers in hospitality industry

Martin Endjala

The National Union of Namibian Workers (NUNW) secretary general Job Muniaro has condemned the mistreatment of workers in the hospitality industry saying that temporary workers must have a union to represent them.

The SG wants this to become compulsory to all job providers, given alleged incidents were temporary workers are hired on training, for some years and become supervisors and are told not to join unions.

Muniaro stressed that workers should not be pressured for joining unions, for it is within their Democratic rights to do so, while also calling for the abolishment of 51 plus as it serves as an impediment for workers to be presented by unions, while prolonging their suffering and the hospitality sector is one such sector, he alleged to often go unnoticed.

Muniaro was speaking to the Windhoek Observer in an interview in response to recent protests particularly one involving hospitality workers.

He said that it is a pity and a disappointment of workers not wanting to join unions, for fear of losing their jobs, alleging that ones they do so, their contracts are cut short.

The SG said that this often takes place in Lodges and restaurants as well as guesthouses amongst others.

“We cannot deal with this economy operating like this, were workers are unable to afford a bed or build a house for that matter, this is why we continue to fight for people working on temporary contracts for many years to be made permanent, a good example is in the fishing industry were temporary workers worked for 11 years”, Muniaro lambasted.

Moreover, it has also come to the SG attention that when he visited the China town in Northern industry to assess working conditions of workers, his printed picture was displayed all over the shops, and ones he was spotted by this owners, they would close their shops.

Citing this behavior and labelling of unions as disheartening and disrespect fir the work that they are mandated to do by the people.

Hence he is of the opinion that despite government doing well in rectifying its international labour laws, they are working bare foot when it comes to domestic labour laws as its people continues to be exploited.

Thus calling in commitments from all labour role players to fight for the plight of the Namibian people. He reaffirms that he will continue fighting for the people. Additionally, Muniaro is disappointed to hear of agreements signed by the government without the presence of the union who actually know what the people need.

He is of the view that those elected by the same workers are no where to be seen when they are needed most, but they are the first to run for projects.

Furthermore, he cautious that any person who wishes to represent workers in Namibia should do so whole heartedly with the approval of Both the ministry of labour and the Namibian Employer’s Federation (NEF), and not to do it via their party affiliation seeking for voters and not for the plight of the people.

As this could be a strategy many will use to gunner for next years upcoming National and Presidential elections.

Meanwhile, on a rather very sad note, Muniaro extended his condolences to the passing on of the Namibia Employer’s Federation Secretary General Daan Strauss, who passed on this week Monday after long illness.

He described him as a person who is very passionate about fighting for the betterment of all workers, a patient and calm person, who never believed in tribalism but in togetherness.

“Daan Strauss is a man to all Namibians, and if seat next to him you can tell that he is a calm knowledgeable human being, an immediate teacher, “sympathized Muniaro. On behalf of the NEF and unions, Muniaro wishes to send his gratitude for his contribution in the short time he has led the federation and they share the passing on of a mantra with the family and friends.

“Our hearts and prayers are with the Strauss bereaved family and as the saying goes, he might be gone; but we shall never be forgotten, may his soul rest in everlasting peace.”, said Muniaro.

By Observer