By: Kelvin Chiringa
SPYL acting secretary for labour and justice, Hofni Ipinge, has said that the Affirmative Repositioning (AR) through its newly birthed Revolutionary Union ((RU) does not have a right to enter the premises of investors and challenge them on labour disputes.
Ipinge has said that the youth chapter of the ruling Swapo party does not recognize the new union.
He further slammed it as an attempt by the AR to score political goals under the guise of unionism.
He has instead called on labour minister Utoni Nujoma to step up and take control of the situation using relevant laws to safeguard private business and foreign investors.
“There are AR boys that are threatening to enter our investors’ shops by force to question the owners of the shops. No one has that right to force themselves to go bull**s**t our investors apart from labour personnel. We have a law in this country, and it should be abided to,” he said.
Meanwhile, the AR has this week confronted Spar, Choppies and Cheetah Cement, railing against what they said were gross violations of labour laws, including physical attacks on workers.
RU’s Proletariat Central Secretary, Benedick M Louw, said:
“Following the Revolutionary emancipatory program of the Revolutionary Union (RU), on behalf of exploited workers of the Choppies Retail Shopping chain, as it relates to the conditions of employment and maltreatment of workers, including sexual harassment, the RU is delighted to announce the departure of Tsumeb Constituency Councilor, one Gotty Ndjendjela, who doubles as a Black Colonialist Capitalist, from an employment arrangement with Choppies.
“Following our intervention, Choppies has since terminated the contract which saw this Councillor pocketing 70% of what supposed to go to the workers giving them only N$ 750.00. This black colonialist has since signed and accepted the contract’s termination following the RU’s decisive action. He has been exploiting the workers since 2nd December 2019. Indeed, the workers are liberated, and for this reason, we are releasing the termination agreement.”
Meanwhile, Ipinge said he would not judge Nujoma when asked whether the AR were taking the situation into their hands because the minister could be sleeping on his job.
The labour minister has not made any public statement concerning any action the RU has taken so far.
“I don’t judge people. I don’t sit with Utoni Nujoma. I am not a member of parliament. Therefore, I cannot say anything about that. If he was sleeping on duty, he was the minister, and he was the one to answer all the questions in parliament and cabinet.
“If he is sleeping on his duty as Utoni Nujoma, I think there are levels also, from parliament and cabinet, they should tell us if he is sleeping on his duty why can’t they (relieve) him?” he queried.
Ipinge has equally condemned Swapo Councillor Gotty Ndjendjela for acting as an employment middleman and paying out salaries for retail chains and other corporates.
“I am not aware of any provision in any law which compels an employer to pay a portion of any employee’s remuneration from a user enterprise (the company at which the employee is placed) to a private employment agency. They can agree on a contract that the employment service agency pays for identifying a person with a user enterprise.
“But what the Labour Act prohibit is for an individual placed by a private employment agency to be employed on terms and conditions of employment that are less favourable than those that apply to its incumbent employees who perform the same or similar work or work of equal value,” he said.
Ipinge also said the Labour Act prohibits the user enterprise from differentiating its employment policies and practices between employees placed by a private employment agency and its incumbent employees who perform the same or similar work or work of equal value.
“Lastly, section 24(1) of the Employment Service Act prohibit private employment agencies from charging a fee directly or indirectly to any individual using its services to be placed with an employer or a prospective employer or whom it has so placed,” he said.