Don’t take workers’ rights for granted – Tucna

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President of the Trade Union Congress of Namibia (Tucna) Paulus Hango says history has a lot to teach workers about the roots of radicalism.

Addressing the Workers’ Day rally on Friday at Lüderitz, Hango stressed that current working conditions cannot be taken for granted because people fought for the rights and dignities that workers enjoy today – though he felt “there is still a lot to fight for”.

Many people attended the gathering at the sports complex in the southern coastal town.
Hango said the sacrifices of many people could not be forgotten or workers could end up fighting for those same gains all over again.

“In order to move forward as a progressive nation a lot needs to be done,” noted the trade unionist.
Hango stressed that tripartism should be a key competitive advantage for Namibia underpinning its economic competitiveness and harmonious labor management relations.

Some of the key tripartite concerns include job creation, skills training and upgrading of the workforce, promotion of fair employment practices and implementation of a sectional minimum wage system on the scale of the standard of living.

For the economy to grow and create more decent jobs effective social dialogue should play an important role, he said.
He added that the main tripartite social dialogue structure is the Labour Advisory Council, which brings together government employers and trade unions. Social partners need to be exploring ways of making this structure more effective and broaden its mandate to provide for some joint decision-making on socio-economic issues instead of merely playing an advisory role on labour matters.

Effective social dialogue is crucial for the achievement of decent work and for reaching consensus about the development social compact to spearhead the creation of the required number of decent jobs, corrective bargaining on minimum wages, decent employment conditions, strengthening the capacity of social partners and government, collective bargaining mechanisms and tripartism, he said.

Hango said in order to avoid industrial action at work, workers need to promote work life harmony and formulate strategies and measurers to help organizations build capabilities in implementing and managing work arrangements.
One of the issues workers need to look at seriously as a matter of urgency is the situation of unemployment which is a threat to peace and stability, therefore workers need to look at strategic skills in demand so that when the youth finish their education there is a guarantee of being employed, otherwise more people will be in the streets without work with their diplomas and degrees due to skills shortage and a mismatch between skills supply and demand.

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