A WIN Discussion October 1923. How can workers in isolated countries such as Namibia defend union rights and union agreements and resist contract labour? This is the challenge which the Labour Tribunal investigation into working conditions in Namibia is working to resolve.
This tribunal is hearing cases of victimisation and brutal anti-union practices, health and safety issues, denial of overtime pay, employer theft of pension funds, shockingly poor worker housing and other questions. Although much labour law in Namibia conforms to ILO standards the practice is totally different with conditions sharply worsening. Foreign investors, including Chinese state corporations, are ruthless in extracting minerals and exploiting workers in Namibia. The SWAPO government acts in collusion – worker rights are crushed through endless delays in hearings, compromised findings and further delays to starve workers into submission, forcing the withdrawal of cases. Victimized workers are blacklisted.
Members of the Tribunal will report on evidence of violations of ILO conventions and labour laws in practice, on findings and on how a report or complaint will be submitted to the ILO and to the international labour movement.
Hear the discussion discussion led by
David Hemson, Chair of the Tribunal panel and authority on labour matters, with participation by
George Martin, Hennes Haraseb and Tuhafeni Petrus victimized mine worker leaders,
Hewat Beukes of the Windhoek Workers Advice Office, and
Steve Zeltzer, labour activist and journalist.