Sioka Instructs New Labour Aisors

The Minister of Labour and Social Welfare, Doreen Sioka, has requested the new Labour Aisory Council (LAC) members to aise her ministry on the increasing cases of dangerous modes of employer transportation in certain industries.

Sioka was speaking at the 12th inauguration meeting of the council early this week, saying the exposure of living conditions at employer-provided accommodations in certain industries has highlighted the need for greater attention to health and safety protections.

“The growth of uranium mining has also brought to the fore the potential harm to workers in this sector. The LAC’s aice is needed as to the adequacy of the existing legal and administrative framework for protection of health and safety of workers,” she said.

The LAC consists of 13 members, including the chairperson, drawn from different sectors, consisting of an equal number of members nominated by registered employers’ organisations, registered trade union federations and the state (social partners).

The counsel will offer complimentary and alternative solutions, including strategies by which the ministry can tackle mounting challenges facing the labour market.

Sioka said she expects the LAC to investigate the most serious issues and challenges facing the Namibian labour market and propose solutions as social partners through consensus.

“This includes promoting greater awareness of, and adherence to the labour and employment laws by employers and employees, working together in the national interest to prevent disputes through social dialogue and collective bargaining,” said Sioka. She said the LAC will also aise on the strengthening of the statutory and institutional framework for the prevention and resolution of labour disputes, as well as promote wide acceptance of the goal of enhancing productivity through cooperation between employers and employees.

Sioka said the LAC is also tasked to aise her in a timely manner on proposed legislation on issues to be discussed at international, regional and sub-regional multilateral forums, and on reports submitted to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) on the implementation of its conventions.

“Council should ensure the smooth and effective functioning of the LAC’s statutory standing committees, including the committee on dispute prevention and resolution and the essential services committee as well as the exemptions committee, which recommends applications under the Affirmative Action Act of 1998 for exemption to train Namibian understudies,” she said.

Sioka pointed out that the LAC’s aise would specifically be welcomed in the areas of employment creation, support for the informal economy, addressing income inequality, improving health and safety in the workplace, codes of good practice, representation of parties at conciliation and arbitration, registration of employer organisations and trade unions and adherence to ILO Conventions 100 and 111.

The aisory council will serve for a period of three consecutive years.

Source : The Namibian