Friday 18 June 2021
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NUNW affiliates fail to pay membership fees

Only one of the NUNW affiliates are in good standing when it comes to fulfilling their membership fee obligations, the Mineworkers Union of Namibia has revealed.
According to MUN in a letter written by its president Desley Somseb this week, NAPWU, Namibia Food and Allied Workers Union (Nafau), Namibian Financial Institutions Union (Nafinu), Metal and Allied Namibian Worker’s Union (Manwu), Namibia Transport and Allied Workers Union (Natau), Namibia Public Worker’s Union (Napwu) and Namibia National Teachers’ Union are all not in good standing when it comes to paying membership fees.
In the letter written to NUNW president Ismael Kasuto, Somseb said the only affiliate that is in good standing is MUN.
“It is hypocritical of us to flaw the governance of our federation (NUNW) yet we expect employers to be above the board in their activities whilst ours is a complete mess.
We should be consistent in our approach and uphold the same principles if not better than the employers that we continue to challenge when they breach their own governance,” he added.
“We are noting continuous non-payment of affiliation fees by some of our fellow NUNW affiliates in terms of Article 7 of the NUNW Constitution.
However, despite the non-payment of affiliation fees, all NUNW member unions continue to enjoy equal privileges as the paying members (MUN),” he said.
“Despite the non-compliance (non-payment), these affiliates continue to operate as business as usual at the expense of those that are paid-up.
This practice is highly discouraging to those of us (MUN) that adhere to the constitution and duly pay our dues so as to be in good standing,” lamented Somseb.
Somseb further questioned the use of some NUNW members being in “good standing” when those members were not paying their dues equally enjoy similar benefits and privileges.
“What is the rational of being in good standing and what benefits are attached to being a paid up affiliate if those who don’t adhere to the constitution are accorded exactly the same rights and privileges?
This principle should not be relaxed for some but rather it must be enforced to all who wish to be affiliated to NUNW,” bemoaned Somseb.
Moreover, MUN sees the non-payment by some of the NUNW affiliates as an act to “undermine” it and keep financially hostage.
“We have realised that the lack of payments and partial payments by NUNW affiliates could purely be an intent to undermine the institution (NUNW) and keep the institution financially hostage as it won’t be able to afford its operational obligations,” he stated.
NUNW’s operational obligations include the payment of employee salaries, payment of employee pension, medical aid and other fringe benefits for its employees.
Additionally, MUN warned its affiliate members to uphold governance principles the same way they expect employers to do.

Union politics
Somseb also claimed “that a retired NUNW political liaison officer[Moses Shiikwa] has been “unilaterally” appointing representatives to the Swapo REC.”
“We have further reliably learned that the supposedly retired NUNW Political Liaison Officer has been unilaterally, illegally and unconstitutionally appointing and imposing the NUNW Swapo Party Regional Executive Committee representatives. This is being done without consulting the paid-up NUNW affiliates in the regions to democratically determine their candidates,” the statement reads.
As a consequence, NUNW resolved to demand that the candidates that were appointed by the said “political liaison” officer be recalled.
“We demand that all these candidates be recalled and a due democratic process be followed as such well-timed illegal appointments have wider implications. The electoral process must be crafted and agreed upon at the relevant NUNW structures,” it further reads.

Furthermore, MUN expressed concerns and questioned the credibility of the appointment of its representative members to the committees which were not sanctioned by “legally constituted bodies”.
“Appointments of NUNW representative in committees such as the Labour Advisory Council, Essential Services Committee, Dispute Resolution Committee and the Employment Service Board are not sanctioned by the federation’s constitutional bodies such as the legally constituted EXCO and CEC- why is this happening is?” he questioned.
MUN is demanding for the disclosure and recalling of its representative members in the aforementioned committees and that such representatives be appointed by legally constituted bodies.

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