Hundreds of security guards join national strike

Stefanus Nashama

Security guards in Windhoek protested at Katutura Youth Centre on Tuesday, demanding a minimum wage of N$15 per hour.

The protest was organised and spearheaded by Namibia Security Workers Union (NASWU) president, Michael Amushelelo after requesting all security companies to pay their employees the new minimum wage back in March.

Despite the union’s request, no company came forward to discuss the matter.

During the protest, some areas such as ATMs, banks, shopping malls, government buildings and parking lots were left unguarded.

In some cases, companies hired temporary employees to guard their premises on that day.

Amushelelo revealed that security companies pay only N$9 per hour while most of the sites where the guards work receive N$150 per hour.

“This is the reason your bosses are driving expensive cars. We want to send the message that we are tired of poverty because we are being underpaid. We are not a Mickey Mouse union. We are not these useless unions with useless unionists. We are militants. This is just a wakeup call to all security companies,” he said.

Amushelelo threatened to mobilise the nation for the removal of the Minister of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment Creation, Uutoni Nujoma, claiming that the minister has failed in his duty to protect workers.

He warned companies that serious consequences awaited them if they suspended or terminated the employment contracts of workers, who participated in the strike.

“If any employee happens to lose their job as a result of this strike, we will fight fire with fire,” he stated, adding that the union has just shown security companies that they are serious.

Amushelelo further announced intentions to organise a nationwide strike of security guards.

He said security companies will be given an opportunity to respond to the workers’ demands before a more serious nationwide strike is initiated.

The Security Association of Namibia (SAN) announced that it will on Thursday give an update on what it terms as an illegal national strike initiated by security officers through Amushelelo’s union.

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