Journalists launch Media Professionals Union
Local media professionals on Friday, 20 November launched a first of its kind union with the objective to organise and unite journalists and media workers operating in print, broadcasting and online mediums, to allow for better bargaining and improved working conditions.
The Namibia Media Professionals Union (NAMPU) was launched in Windhoek in the attendance of journalists, veteran journalist and founder of The Namibian newspaper Gwen Lister, Media Ombudsman John Nakuta, and Trade Union Congress of Namibia, Secretary General, Mahongora Kavihuha.
The union will represent its members in labour matters and negotiate with employers on behalf of the members. It will also strive to improve the working conditions of its members to
a level that their rights as human beings and professionals are maintained as stipulated in the Labour Act and other legislation.
The union will also endeavour to reduce or eliminate the prevalence of discrimination, intimidation, humiliation and unfair treatment of its members and to bring to the fore all
pertinent issues that may affect or unduly influence its members during the execution of their duties.
During the convention, NAMPU’s founding leadership was elected and is made up of the Secretary General, Sakeus Iikela; Deputy Secretary General, Jemima Beukes; the Secretary for Information and Mobilisation, Charmaine Ngatjiheue, Treasurer Timo Shihepo and Organiser, Augetto Graig.
The five leaders make up the union’s executive committee with four additional members, Tileni Mongudhi, Edward Muumbu, Esther Mbathera and Tuyeimo Haidula.
“It is an honour to be elected as the founding Secretary General of this union at this historic juncture. The idea of forming a journalists’ union has been conceived decades
ago and several attempts were made to form the union but it never materialised. This union is constituted to represent the rights and interests of journalists. Many issues are happening
in the media industry that have never been talked about,” Iikela said.
Iikela stressed that the exploitation, overworking and underpayment of journalists and the misuse of interns are some of the issues that are prevalent in the media industry.
“The union, as it was officially launched today, will be tasked with elevating the voices of all its members to address some of these issues. We now have an entity that we will all turn to when we encounter issues of unfair labour practices with our employers,” he added.
Some members of the founding exco, f.l.t.r: Edward Muumbu, Sakeus Iikela, Charmaine Ngatjiheue, Timo Shihepo and Augetto Graig. (Photo: Herson Kapanga)