The National Union of Namibian Workers (NUNW), the biggest worker federation in the country, is to host this year’s official celebration of May Day, also known as International Workers’ Day, at Oshakati Independence Stadium in the Oshana Region.
President Hage Geingob is expected to be the keynote speaker at the event to be held under the theme, ‘Workers Demand Effective Protection on Health and Safety’.
In recent years the turnout at May Day celebrations in Namibia has been disappointing. Trade unionists have attributed this tendency to the close proximity of the day to another public holiday, Cassinga Day on May 4 and Ascension Day on May 5, when people take leave from work and spend time on leisure and family.
However, speaking to New Era yesterday, NUNW secretary general Job Muniaro was confident that workers would turn out in large numbers. “Just as last year in Walvis Bay, I’m very confident that this year’s attendance will be even better compared to last year,” he said.
He said the workers’ federation is still putting the final touches on the preparations for the celebration. Although the Presidency is still to confirm the invitation, Muniaro said he is certain President Hage Geingob would be the keynote speaker on the day. He called on workers from all corners of the country to join them in this year’s Workers Day celebration.
Following the first democratic elections in Namibia in 1990, May 1 was instituted as an official national public holiday. Known as International Workers’ Day, the holiday is widely celebrated, with as many as 80 countries honouring the date and what it stands for.
Last year the official May Day celebrations were held at Walvis Bay.