Geingob urges private sector to cease unfair labour practices

WALVIS BAY: President Hage Geingob has urged the private sector in Namibia to cease unfair labour practices against workers.

“Let me make it clear that exploitation is a thing of the past. The word exploitation cannot be uttered in the Namibian house,” the President said during the commemoration of Workers’ Day at Walvis Bay on Friday.

In a speech read on his behalf by Minister of Labour Relations Erkki Nghimtina, Geingob called on the private sector to treat their workers with the dignity and respect they deserve.

“Workers are not only breadwinners for their families, but for you as well. Workers should have respectable facilities such as changing rooms, toilets, and designated areas where they can have lunches, among other things. Workers should feel comfortable, safe and valued in the workplace,” he said.

Geingob indicated that workers are the key to a better future, adding that it is time for them to play a greater role in the economy.

“Mere salary increments alone cannot lead to the targeted growth rate of at least seven per cent we are aiming at,” he stressed.

Workers must share in the wealth generated by local industries, the Head of State said. He also said workers must be allowed to own a stake in the companies they work for through shareholding.

In doing so, he said, workers would feel as if they are insiders rather than outsiders looking in.

Geingob said he is committed to ensuring that workers’ rights are improved.

“No child in the Namibian house must be denied his or her rights. It is an injustice when the very people who we depend on to ignite the engines that must propel our nation towards prosperity are allowed to live in deplorable conditions without adequate compensation,” he said.