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Thursday 17 January 2019
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DTA insists mass unemployment demonstration is on

The DTA of Namibia will proceed with its intention to mobilise the unemployed to demonstrate in solidarity of the fired fishermen at Walvis Bay and Lüderitz. In September, DTA president McHenry Venaani visited and addressed the more than 600 fishermen who lost their jobs after embarking on an illegal strike some 13 months ago. About 600 fishermen in Walvis Bay and 80 in Lüderitz are unemployed.  He had given Government 30 days to ensure the fishermen are re-employed or face a mass peaceful demonstration.
The fishermen were fired after they went on strike, demanding an increase in their basic salary; an increase in the medical aid benefit and for those who do not have it; an increase in overtime; and an increase in housing allowance and the benefit for those who do not have it.
DTA Secretary-General, Manuel Ngaringombe confirmed to Nampa on Thursday that they meant what they said and are busy organising the national mass demonstration. “It should be expected before the end of this year. We gave Government an ultimatum but they did not respond until now,” Ngaringombe said.
He noted they are in constant contact with the fishermen and will soon announce when the march will take place.
“Our concern is that if these people did not get their jobs back, it increases unemployment in our country which is already high. With this national demonstration, we also want to prove to Government that unemployment is a problem.”
When approached for comment in September, Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources Bernard Esau said the matter was a labour issue and should not be politicised. “This is a labour issue and it should be addressed according to the Labour Law. Whatever happened to the fishermen’s jobs was done according to the law; they embarked on an illegal strike and now bear the consequences,” said the minister.-NAMPA




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