THE presence of three union federations campaigning in Walvis Bay on May Day was a sign that "imperialist employers" were scheming to divide Namibian workers, deputy Minister of Defence Peter Ilonga said.
Addressing the National Union of Namibian Workers (NUNW) event in the habour town where two other unions - the Trade Union Congress of Namibia (Tucna) and Evilastus Kaaronda's new Namibian National Labour Organisation (Nanlo) - were campaigning nearby, Ilonga took a swipe at rival 'pseudo' unions, saying they were created out of anger.
"Imperialists have started the campaign to create multiple trade unions to divide your power. No matter how different your political, religious or ethnicity is, you are all workers and need to stand united.
The employers and the imperialists stand together irrespective of whether they are black, yellow or white. They talk together to suppress the workers.
"Those unions were created by anger. You never find anything created by an angry person succeeding. It is right if you have your own party or church but when you come to work, you are one worker. We don't need many trade unions. How are you going to negotiate? The employers just say 'We have them now . . .they are divided'," said Ilonga.
He claimed that employers capitalise on the multi-unionism by giving benefits to the rival unions "who have no history" and start blaming Swapo for everything that goes wrong.
"You must blame yourself. We must make sure we defeat the imperialists and their cahoots. We must make sure they never ever succeed to divide our workers. This was done to suppress the black workers. Where are the white workers today? We need to rally behind one another, black, brown or white and unite as workers," he further said.
He added that employers must respect their employees because they get their wealth from the workers.
"They can only be millionaires through the workers who sell their labour. If you withdraw your labour, the employers say they lose millions, but when workers ask for salaries, the employers say there is no money. If we are united, we can get through but if we are divided, they will divide us further and we will suffer more," he warned.