Manwu alarmed by anti-labour black companies


The Metal and Allied Namibian Workers’ Union has said while it is gunning for local companies to be the first to win contracts, it was alarmed by black-owned firms that were demonstrating anti-labour behavior.


“We are disturbed that our local black-owned companies are being used by foreign companies to do dirty work for them. MANWU is concerned that Namibians, whether black or white must have our country first to build so that we discontinue (the) dependency on foreign investors,” said MANWU’s Justina Jonas.


The union’s concerns come in the wake of reports of some local security companies subjecting workers to harsh working conditions with poor equipment and low wages.


Jonas said there is capacity for locals but expressed that there is no desire to work and be in charge of the economy which currently hangs off a cliff.


She also announced that MANWU will go ahead with the second phase of the construction wage and condition of employment negotiations set to begin on the 31st of this month.


The negotiations come after an economic implosion that has led to company closures, retrenchments and wage protests as the finance ministry maintains a tight leash on government expenditure.


 Jonas said the negotiations will also be spearheaded by the Construction Industry Federation and has called on the union’s membership to attend general meetings aimed to provide feedback.


Meanwhile, experts anticipate some form of growth this year but it is likely that this won’t be by any wide margin.


The finance ministry has opened up the capital budget to give the sector a lease of life following a cataclysmic collapse which pulled down the entire economy into a recession.


Said Jonas, “We must try to come up with new strategies meeting the challenges our nation is facing. MANWU will continue to call our government and (the) private sector to prioritise local companies to get jobs before others.”


“We believe local companies have much to offer to our local economy than foreign investors who do not invest all the money in our economy especially in the construction sector,” she said.


However, Namibia continues to seek foreign direct investments via Private Public Partnerships to jumpstart growth as the president looks east for aid.


Drought, falling SACU revenue, global forces are among a host of factors that continue to threaten economic revival in Namibia.