President Hage Geingob has paid tribute to workers for the crucial role they play in advancing socio-economic development and shared prosperity for the Namibia people.
Geingob in a statement on the occasion of the annual International Workers Day on Monday said the fight for freedom in Namibia has its origins in the demands of workers for fair labour practices and better working conditions for the black majority.
He said during the liberation struggle, Workers Day, was an occasion for the oppressed workers of Namibia to unite and sharpen their resolve to accelerate their fight against the Apartheid regime and to break the chains of oppression.
“Workers are a precious resource in the history and development of our nation,” he said, noting that 33 years after independence, working in a triumvirate that includes government, trade unions and the private sector, Namibia has made good progress in advancing workers' rights, consistent with the letter and spirit of the Namibian Constitution as a foundation of the Namibian House.
“I urge all stakeholders to deliver on their mandate of upholding and protecting workers' rights and interests by promoting sound labour relations and fair employment practices. In accordance with our processes, systems and institutions, employers should promote conducive working environments and fair benefits for workers,” he stated.
Geingob further called on stakeholders to engage in good faith in collective bargaining to mitigate the impact of the economic downturn on workers, noting that those bargaining for workers' rights should at all times resolve labour disputes in a spirit that advances the interests of the country.
Geingob also highlighted that as the world is rapidly changing, and with it the future of work, through the intensification of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), Robotics, the Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence, more demands are placed on Namibian workers to retool and reskill.
“By establishing the 4IR Task Force in 2021, which has since completed its work by making recommendations to prepare Namibia for the 4IR, I urge the private sector and trade unions to accompany the Namibian government in preparing workers for the future of work,” he said.
The Head of State went on to say that government remains conscious of the fact that unemployment disproportionately affects the youth and the unskilled and assured that it will continue to create a conducive environment for jobs to be created.
To succeed in that endeavour, the private sector must be a major driving force in reducing unemployment, which is an important pillar in the fight against poverty.
The day was held under the theme, 'Workers United in ensuring productivity for National Economic Growth and Guarding against Unfair Labour Practices in the World of Work’.
Source: The Namibian Press Agency