Employer representatives condemn NEFF and AR actions

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staff reporter

The Namibian Employers’ Confederation (NEF) and Namibian Employers’ Confederation (NEA) have rejected the actions of the Namibia Economic Freedom Fighters (NEFF) and Affirmative Repositioning (AR) movements, calling the demands and protests political interference in labor affairs.

In a mass protest today, NEFF and AR filed petitions against the importation of counterfeit goods by Chinese and Indian nationals, specifically calling for the closure of all Chinese retailers on the grounds that the “regime” (Namibian government) is protecting the interests of these foreign nationals, as well as Indians, at the expense of the Namibians.

The demonstrations started in China Town and from there moved to the Ministry of Trade and Industrialization and the Namibia Revenue Agency. The protesters did not go to the Chinese embassy as intended.

The full statement, signed by Secretary Generals Daan Strauss (NEF) and Henry Bruwer (NEA):

“The Namibian Employers’ Confederation (NEF) and the Namibian Employers’ Confederation (NEA) strongly reject the recent interference by political parties in labor matters.
Recent political interference has disrupted industrial relations at a number of Namibian companies.

The Namibian Labor Code (Act No. 11 of 2007) is very clear on employee representation in labor matters. Chapter 6 of the Act deals with trade unions and employers’ organizations and their rights and registration requirements.
This means that any trade union or employers’ association must be registered within the meaning of the law. In addition, any workers’ or employers’ association

Organizations must demonstrate that they actually have a proven membership base representing their members.

This falls outside the political arena, and political parties simply do not have the mandate to act on behalf of workers on labor matters.

Although some workers have complained to political parties about their problems at work and about the poor quality of the services provided by certain unions,
Employers should not cooperate with political parties on work-related matters.

Employers should refer political parties to the Office of the Labor Commissioner or the Labor Code, which stipulates that registered unions should deal with industrial relations issues.

In South Africa, in an interesting South African Labor Court ruling in June 2021, in a case brought by a South African trading company against The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and others, the Labor Court ordered the EFF to be banned and restricted by, among other things, unlawful interference in the business operations of the company .

The Labor Court found, inter alia, that the EFF is not a registered trade union and therefore has no power to intervene in labor disputes.

After reviewing all of the evidence, the court found that the company had the authority to order the EFF and its employees from engaging in the wrongful conduct alleged in the summary motion.

The court also found that because of the conduct of the EFF and its members on the company’s premises, the company should not be left out of pocket when it came to taking action to prevent the unlawful conduct of the EFF and its members and contain.

Accordingly, the EFF had to bear the costs of the urgent application.

This ruling should be seen as a warning to any political party attempting to unlawfully interfere in internal disputes in the workplace, and workers should be reminded that political parties are not entitled to take over the functions of a trade union.”

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