Two-day workshop zooms in on the elimination of violence and harassment in labour market
The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Namibia (FES), in collaboration with the Metal Allied and Namibian Workers Union (MANWU), organised a two-day follow-up roundtable discussion on the elimination of violence and harassment in the world of work at the NANTU Hall in Katutura on 15-16 June.
The discussion was to build on the recommendations made at the subsequent sessions last year and develop an action plan for zero tolerance for eliminating violence and harassment in the MANWU union.
Subsequently, the General Secretary of MANWU, Justina Jonas, affirmed in her statement during the event that they were the first union to domesticate Convention 190.
According to her, with the help of FES, they were able to step up their efforts to combat workplace violence and harassment. Meanwhile, Sylvia Mundjindi, Project Manager at FES, stated that further conversations are required to assess the status of Convention 190 implementation.
MANWU shop stewards indicated at the follow-up roundtable discussion that they had attempted countless efforts to implement Convention 190 by addressing and resolving labour issues involving workplace violence and harassment. The shop stewards also observed increasing employee knowledge and education about Convention 190.
“To make a meaningful impact and intensify efforts to implement Convention 190, a strategy has been established to mainstream Convention 190 into educational and training programmes for the shop stewards to implement.”
They added that modifications to recognition agreements, collective bargaining agreements, and work policies would be made and submitted to various employers for discussion and approval.
As a result, a communication plan in the form of pamphlets and videos in local languages would be established to increase the dissemination of information and reach more workers about this Convention. They added that it is also critical for employers to adopt a statement mission through which they would announce their commitments to fight and protect the right of workers at events that they are organizing.
The International Labour Organization Convention No. 190 is the first international treaty to recognize the right of everyone to a world of work free from violence and harassment. The Convention was adopted in June 2019 by the International Labour Conference of the International Labour Organization and came into force on 25 June 2021. The Namibian Government became the third country after Uruguay and Fiji to ratify the Convention on 09 December 2020.