nion stresses employment of more blacks in banks

WALVIS BAY; Black people do not occupy strategic positions in some banks, and this status quo has to change, a unionist has said.

The Secretary-General of the Namibia Bank and Allied Workers Union (NBWU), Lawrence Ihuhua made this statement on Wednesday, repeating an earlier call for all banks in Namibia to employ black people in strategic positions.

Ihuhua said this in his speech during the opening of a training workshop for shop stewards from trade unions affiliated to the Trade Union Congress of Namibia (Tucna) at Walvis Bay.

“At the moment most strategic positions in some banks are not occupied by black people – positions such as Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Area Manager, and Chief Operations Officer are mostly occupied by whites. We need the situation to change, black people must be in decision-making positions too,” he said.

Ihuhua said the union will continue to advocate for the issue until it is realised, as they need “to see blacks moving up the ladder”.

The unionist explained that if blacks are allowed to be in such positions, they will make decisions which address the salary disparities in such institutions, as well as other decisions aimed at black empowerment.

“I am not blaming the whites for being in high positions. What I am saying is that unionists on boards of directors must influence board decisions to move these people up the ladder,” Ihuhua noted.

Shop stewards attending the five-day training session belong to the NBWU, Namibia Seaman and Allied Workers’ Union (Nasawu), Namibia Airline Pilots’ Association (Napa) and the Namibia Taxi and Transport Union (NTTU) amongst other trade unions.

The training focuses on leadership as well as encouraging the shop stewards to represent workers beyond their work places, for instance to make sure workers have accommodation.

Another focus area in the training is the thorough understanding of pension funds, and the need to educate workers on how much they contribute and how much they will receive when they retire.