Re-vamped NDAWU fights for domestic worker’s rights
The Namibian Domestic and Allied Workers Union (NDAWU), this week announced that its newly elected leadership will seriously take up issues affecting the lives of domestic workers in the country.
Speaking at the end of the 3rd NDAWU national congress which was held from 27 February to 01 March, General Secretary of NDAWU, Nelie Dina Kahua said issues such as a pension scheme and medical aid will be attended to, as the congress noted that domestic workers in Namibia do not belong to a pension fund or medical aid.
Amongst the issues raised by the union is that of housing. Kahua said housing for domestic workers remains a serious problem which the union’s leadership has decided to take up with stakeholders in the construction industry, especially the National Housing Enterprise (NHE) and commercial banks to make affordable home loans for domestic workers.
he also said that the Social Security Commission of Namibia is to expedite the implementation of a pension fund and medical aid for domestic workers. “The union will also attend to issues of education and training as the congress has noted that literacy is low amongst the majority of domestic workers in Namibia, adding to that domestic workers are not well acquainted with labour law in order to know their rights,” Kahua further stated.
In order to deal with the issue of poor education the National Union of Namibian Workers (NUNW) has drawn up special educational activities to educate the newly elected leadership of NDAWU on their role as office bearers. Workshops and training programmes have been drawn up to address the specific educational needs of domestic workers. The union had been dormant, due to leadership and capacity challenges over the years, hence it may not have served the constituency it was created for effectively. “There was a leadership vacuum and thus workers in the domestic sector remain on the margins of society. Their wages and working conditions continued to deteriorate in the absence of clearly and properly constituted leadership,” said NUNW Acting General Secretary Job Muniaro at a media briefing held two weeks ago. NDAWU was created to lobby and mobilize for better working conditions of domestic and allied workers in Namibia.