Unions fight for majority
The second vice President of TUCNA (Trade Union Congress of Namibia), Daniel Imbili has warned officials from other Unions who misinform their members that the Namibia Wholesale and Retail Workers Union (NWRWU) is the company union, not recognised by the government against doing so.
Imbili is also the Deputy Secretary General of NWRWU.
According to Imbili, he took a consultative meeting trip to Oshakati and Ondangwa, after The Namibia Food and Allied Workers Union (NAFAU) and NWRWU were informed by the Shoprite Group that none of them have a 50%+ majority of workers at the giant supermarket chain.
“It has come to our attention that some of this ill minded officials misinformed their members that NWRWU is the company union, not recognised by the government and also denyied that they did not sign the agreement between the company (Shoprite Group) and that both unions took a trip to the north for recruitment while they have signed the document and the names of NAFAU appears on that agreement,” said Imbili at a press conference in Walvis Bay.
He said, after travelling over 2500 from Walvis Bay to visit all Shoprite Outlets in the North, some NAFAU organisers instigated their co-workers to harass them.
“When we were trying to inform our members about our visit and the reason why the company don’t want to get involved with any union for this year’s wages negotiations. The attitude of NAFAU members was uncalled for. I want to inform the entire Namibian nation that the aims and objectives of Trade Unions are to protect the rights of workers and to negotiate for better working conditions and favourable benefits,” he said.
He said, both unions signed an agreement with Shoprite to extend the wages negotiations date to next week, Friday in order for the unions to go to their constituencies and address Shoprite workers to obtain membership for one of the two unions to have a majority membership to enable them to have wages negotiations with Shoprite as the employer.
“My strong message to such union officials is to change their attitude or the Ministry of Labour will be informed to take actions against those who make themself guilty in that regard. We have to negotiate in good faith with these big companies to establish good working relationships between employer and employees and not the other way around. These companies are making billions out of this country and it’s only through better negotiations that our working force can share and benefit out of these profits. Unions must stop misleading the workers but open their eyes by educating them through the Labour Act,” he said.
A representative from NAFAU, only known as Wilma told The Economist, that the Union does not make comments on allegations.
“I can not comment on allegations, did they prove to you that they were harassed,” she said.