DTA joins the fry in growing unemployment discontent

Official opposition party DTA of Namibia attempts to spearhead a nationwide unemployment strike soon, as an ultimatum and demand for the reinstatement of over 1000 fishermen who were fired after their participation in an illegal strike 11 months ago at Walvis Bay.

The fishermen officially downed tools in November 2015, demanding increases in their basic salaries, medical aid, overtime and a housing allowance among others. The illegal strike was led by an affiliate of the Mining, Metal, Maritime and Construction Union (MMMC), the Namibia National Labour Organisation (Nanlo). This strike in turn cost fishermen involved their jobs. For the past 11 months, these fired fishermen were advised to ask for their jobs back.
With his visit to Walvis Bay last week for the inauguration of a new DTA Councillor to the Walvis Bay local authority coun-cil, DTA leader, McHenry Venaani took the opportunity to address unemployed fishermen. During this he demanded that these workers be re-employed; giving the government 30 days from Friday, 2 September, to resolve the issue. If no consensus has been reached at that time, Venaani threatens to mobilise all unemployed people in the country to take part in a mass peaceful demonstration. “The companies must re-employ these people within 30 days from now. If they do not have money, then their fishing quotas must be increased. We are giving Government 30 days to solve this matter; if not a mass demonstration will come,” Venaani commented.
What Venaani failed to address at this meeting on Friday is how this illegal strike affected and already trg financially strained fishing industry.
Venaani further said, “The Harambee Prosperity Plan promises jobs while we are losing over 2 000 jobs in reality. Government is well aware of the fact that there are approximately 4 000 Spanish nationals working in the fishing sector while Namibians are sitting without work. These foreigners are earning salaries at the expense of Namibians.” Venaani referred to the matter as a national crisis which should receive immediate attention from President Hage Geingob, adding that the issue has nothing to do with politics.

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