End union busting and police intimidation in Namibia!
BWI condemns the unwarranted arrest and detention of two field officers from the Metal and Allied Namibian Workers Union (MANWU) amidst an ongoing labour dispute between the union and the Eco Sun Agricultural Trading.
According to MANWU, the company has refused to meet with the union leaders in good faith, and has instead employed the police to intimidate workers and deny them of their rights. Some of these deprived rights are the freedom of association, organising and collective bargaining as guaranteed by Namibia’s Labour Act 11 of 2007, as well as ILO Conventions on the Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise (No.87) and the Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining (No.98), both of which were ironically ratified by Namibia.
BWI calls on the Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations, and Employment, together with other relevant government institutions, to take immediate and appropriate measures to address this matter. We join MANWU in calling for an end to Eco Sun Agricultural Trading’s union busting and its use of the police to intimidate its workers.
It is imperative that trade unionists and workers are able to exercise their labour rights without fear of retaliation from employers and the state. Trade unionism is not a crime. Trade unions are important stakeholders and partners of governments and employers to secure social dialogue and peaceful industrial relations.
BWI will continue to closely monitor this matter. On behalf of our 12 million members worldwide, BWI stands in solidarity with MANWU and will continue to do so until the rights of trade unionists and workers in the said company are fully recognised.