Tucna takes aim at Labour Act loopholes

19 November 2018 | Labour

The president of the Trade Union Congress of Namibia (Tucna), Paulus Hango, says workers are being exploited because of loopholes in the Labour Act.

Hango was speaking at the opening of a workshop on amendments to the Labour Act in Walvis Bay on Thursday.

“The Labour Act of 2007 will be amended. The first Namibian Labour Act was gazetted in 1992 and was amended in 2007. We are now busy with the social partners, the government employers' organisation and trade unions to amend the Labour Act of 2007,” he said.

“By next year the possibility is that we will have a new Labour Act. The Namibian workers must speak with one voice in order to protect their interests at the workplace. Trade unions and workers have to take position and make sure that the labour laws and regulations protect them,” said Hango.

Another speaker, Tucna secretary-general Mahongora Kavihuha, said he wanted the new labour law to legalise “economic strikes”.

“An economic strike means, for example, if the government continues to increase fuel prices, the workers can have the right to strike. If the government continues to borrow useless money from China, then we can have the right to strike.

“If this country does not address the laws, it is going to go down. We should interrogate these laws and address the loopholes,” said Kavihuha.

One of the parts of the Labour Act that the workshop wanted to be amended was Section 16 (Subsection 3a).

In terms of this section, an employer may not require a security officer or an employee working in emergency healthcare services to work more than 60 hours in any week, or more than 12 hours on any day.

Security guards currently work 12-hour shifts. The union wants the legal limit reduced to nine hours, with overtime payment for the extra three hours.

ADOLF KAURE

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