22 January 2019

Namibia: New Union to Protect Informal Workers

THE secretary general of a newly established trade union, Stefanus Matheus, said workers in the informal sector have low wages and poor work conditions and that the union was going to change that.

It was because of these factors that he formed the union to ensure that informal workers have better wages, better work conditions, and public holiday and Sunday overtime payments.

Matheus said this at a press briefing this week in Okuryangava, Windhoek, where the Namibia Informal Traders and Shebeen Workers Union (Nitswu) was launched. The union was registered last year at the labour ministry.

Nitswu was established to embrace the informal economy and promote social protection of all workers in the informal sector. Businesses that would be covered by the union would be bars, corner shops, public markets, street vendors, salons/barbershops, printing shops and carwashes.

"I believe that negotiation and consultation is the best way to get dignity and respect for our members," said Matheus.

Deputy secretary general of Nitswu, Prince Junias, said the union supported the labour commissioner's office in looking for alternative ways to solve disputes between workers and employers.

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