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City of Windhoek workers petition for permanent employment and raises

City of Windhoek workers petition for permanent employment and raises

Staff Reporter

WORKERS from the City of Windhoek’s Solid Waste Department marched in large numbers to the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development of Namibia to hand in a petition to the Minister, Erastus Uutoni, demanding that workers who have allegedly been employed on contract labour for years by the City of Windhoek be given permanent positions, as well as raises.

Joseph Garoeb, the acting secretary-general of the Namibia Civil Servants and Parastatals Workers Union (NACSPU), read the petition on Thursday, April 11, 2024, on behalf of the members of the union.

“The workers continue to work under contract systems of three to six months without job security and a sustainable livelihood. The workers standing here are working for the City of Windhoek, which is run by our political leaders who are supposed to protect and provide decent employment opportunities for their people. The council is run by the following political parties: SWAPO, NUDO, LPM, AR, and IPC party. These workers worked for years under a six-month contract that does not provide any job security and sustainable livelihood. These workers were employed on a permanent contract, but this situation was changed, and the reasons are not known. This part of the work was outsourced to those who are politically connected. They lost benefits such as medical aid, pension, and other benefits,” Garoeb said.

He added that the City of Windhoek continues to ignore the union as the majority trade union in the solid waste unit.

“We demand that the City of Windhoek enter into a recognition agreement with NACSPU as a matter of urgency, to negotiate for the welfare of workers. The union represents the majority of Waste and Solid Department contract workers of the City of Windhoek who are employed on exploitative temporary contracts since 2018. The workers demand that the City of Windhoek employ all the employees currently on temporary contracts on permanent contracts or five-year contracts. The City of Windhoek should adjust the salary of contract employees from N$ 3,300 as a minimum entry level to N$ 6,000,” Garoeb said.

Further to this, the union’s acting secretary-general asked that the ministry institute an independent investigation into this matter.

“The workers are in a very desperate situation as their contracts are coming to an end in June 2024, and it is on that background that we expect a reply from the Minister within five days of receiving this petition” Garoeb concluded.

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