May Day losing its relevance

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The National Unity Democratic Organisation (NUDO) would like to express its profound disappointment with the scams and lip service given to workers in this country by both government and private sector in as far as workers’ rights are concerned.
One should pose the very pertinent question of how workers can celebrate Workers Day today while they have been relegated to mere beggars, whose rights are trampled upon by employers?
There is absolutely nothing to celebrate while the same companies continue to treat their workers as mere tools for their needs. Workers’ rights are a mere dream to many workers, as the provision of a decent salary has in itself become a luxury and not a right anymore, since many companies continue to pay their workers peanuts under the government’s nose.
It is sad that today we celebrate workers day while many workers are starving, and while companies have become parasites that continue to suck the blood of innocent Namibians to achieve their own objectives at the expense of the workers.
We state it categorically and clearly that our workers continue to be served a cold salad of convenience through both government and the private sector’s reluctance to respect workers’ rights.
The government on the other hand should take the blame for having failed to protect workers’ rights since Independence. Yes some legislations have been enacted to protect them but these laws are implemented selectively by both government and the private sector, because it is clear that many of our people, including security guards and domestic workers, still continue to receive low salaries that do not even cater for their basic needs.
The annual May Day celebration has become a very sad day for the Namibian workers as on this day instead of celebrating achievements and gains made over the years with regard to workers’ rights, it is a day when workers are reminded once more that they have been sold to the highest bidder. Their welfare means less and less to those who continue to exploit and use them as wild cards in their games of fortune.
In the final analysis, there is nothing to celebrate really, and hence this celebration continues to become emptier and emptier every year.
It is safe to say the government must get its house in order to lead by example and enact legislations that will protect and advance workers’ rights for them to feel that there is something worth celebrating.

Joseph Kauandenge
Nudo presidential spokesperson

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