Kaaronda willing to assist NTTU

WINDHOEK: Former Namibia Workers Union (NUNW) Secretary General Evilatus Kaaronda told Nampa this afternoon in a telephonic interview that he is aware that the president of the Namibia Transport and Taxi Union (NTTU) Werner Januarie called on his support.

Januarie on Monday told a group of journalists during a mass strike by members of the NTTU that he want Kaaronda to address the taxi operators. The NTTU leader’s call came after several attempts by the union to get an audience with law makers on the hefty traffic fines, while the union also battle to get more taxi ranks for it’s union on deaf ears.

‘I’m ready to listen, and whatever assistance I can render that will help resolve their problem I will be eager to do that.’ Kaaronda told this reporter. On a question if he (Kaaronda) was already approached by the NTTU to render his assistance, he said that no one from the union approached him yet.

When this reporter visited the premises where the taxi gathered since last week in Donkerhoek, the reporter found it to be empty with taxi in sight.

Meanwhile Januarie said on enquiry why there are no taxis parked at Donkerhoek in Katutura since the drivers threaten to strike as long as it will take until their problems and grievances are addressed by the authorities he told Nampa in a telephone interview that the strike is called of.

Januarie told this reporter he received a letter from the Secretary from the National Assembly, Jakes Jacobs stating they are aware of their concerns and that the issues will be addressed within the first quarter of this year in the National Assembly as the NA is currently busy with budget discussions which is priority. ‘

For now we relaxed the strike until further notice because we are working on plans, while some drivers are scared they might be dismissed for taking part in the strike’ Januarie told this reporter. Januarie added that they still working to get Kaaronda involved to address the operators concerns.

(edited)WINDHOEK: The president of the Namibian National Labour Organisation (NANLO), Evilastus Kaaronda says he is willing to listen to disgruntled taxi drivers’ complaints and assist where he can.

Taxi drivers affiliated to the Namibia Transport and Taxi Union (NTTU) started striking last week in protest at high traffic fines, the lack of taxi ranks around Windhoek, and the alleged attitude of law enforcement officials towards them.

The union’s president, Werner Januarie on Monday called for Kaaronda’s support and issued an open invitation for him to address his union’s members.

The NTTU leader’s call came after several attempts by his union to get an audience with lawmakers to amongst others have their concerns on hefty traffic fines heard.

Kaaronda indicated in a telephonic interview on Tuesday that he is willing to offer his support as he was also involved in a taxi strike two years ago.

“I’m ready to listen, and whatever assistance I can render that will help solve their problem, I will be eager to do that,” he stated.

He however said no one from the taxi union has approached him with such a request yet.

The taxi drivers had previously threatened to strike for as long as it takes to have their grievances addressed by the authorities, but that decision has since been reversed and the strike ended on Monday.

Approached for comment on Tuesday, Januarie confirmed that the strike was called off. He said he received a letter from the Secretary to the National Assembly (NA), Jakes Jacobs on Monday saying the NA’s main priority currently is the national budget discussions, but the union’s concerns will be addressed within the first quarter of this year.

“For now we have relaxed the strike until further notice. Some drivers were also scared that they might be dismissed for taking part in the strike,” Januarie said.

He added that they are still working on getting Kaaronda involved in the matter.

SOURCE: NAMPA