The Minister of Labour,Industrial Relations and Employment Creation Erkki Nghimtina has implored workers to join trade unions to achieve decent work through collective bargaining.
He urged employers to support the constitutional objective of negotiating with trade unions and sign collective agreements that would enable more effective deduction and remittance of trade union fees.
“It is in the interest of your businesses and that of the nation to have sustainable and adequately resourced trade unions,” he said at the Workers’ Day celebrations at Eenhana on Monday.
In addition, he said organised workers must form the backbone of Namibia’s efforts to become a prosperous nation and thus urged trade unions to fulfil their responsibility to organise unorganised workers into trade unions.
This would contribute to sound labour relations and a productive workforce for the development of Namibia.
He emphasised that unions must be seen to be democratic and vigorous in representing the interests of the workers and as responsible negotiating partners with employers in order to attract more workers.
However, the minister expressed concern about the inter-union rivalries which he said were diminishing the strength that could be achieved through the unity of workers in particular industries and workplaces.
He thus appealed to union leaders to work together in the interest of all workers.
“Forge unity across federations and between and among trade unions in the same industries. Our ministry is prepared to support you in these efforts,” Nghimtina said.