DTA says it will follow through unemployment march if Labour Court bid fails for fired fishermen

The official opposition, DTA of Namibia, this week said the party is determined to see through a plan for a nationwide march against unemployment, should fishermen fail in their attempt in the Labour Court next week to get their jobs back from fishing companies that dismissed them last year during a strike.

Hundreds of fishermen lost their jobs when they embarked on a strike fishing industry employers said was illegal and crippling to their operations and financial wellbeing. The strike was part of a turf war between trade unions in the fishing industry.
The DTA had a meeting with the affected fishermen in Walvis Bay recently and gave Government to 2 October to address their concerns. According to a statement issued by the DTA, Government ignored this deadline.
Fishermen now turn to the Labour Court to compel fishing companies to re-employ them.
The full statement reads: “Following the meeting at Walvis Bay, the Fishermen had given the Government up until the 2nd of October 2016 to address their concerns. The 2nd came and went without any response whatsoever from Government’s side or any attempts to engage with the fishermen.
The fishermen will be in Labour Court from 10 – 17 October with the various fishing companies involved in order to try and reach an amicable solution to this longstanding dispute.
It is my hope that following these proceedings in the Labour Court, a resolution will be reached that will see the fishermen resume duty before the next cycle of boats go out to sea.
We strongly plead on all parties involved in the labour matter to approach the case in good faith and to set their pride aside and genuinely seek a lasting solution to this problem which could have potentially devastating effects on the lives of fishermen nationwide and severely impact on unemployment and poverty in Namibia.
Should these proceedings prove unsuccessful, then the Party will resume its previously stated action of calling for and mobilizing not only a fishing industry strike, but a national unemployment march”.

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