|Work and reap the rewards - Angula|
|Written by Augetto Graig|
|Wednesday, 13 June 2012 22:33|
The Secretary General of the Namibian Farmworkers Union (NAFWU) recently urged union workers to strive for improvement in the work performance of NAFWU employees, amidst allegations that he is depriving his workforce of salaries and benefits and dismisses workers at will.
Alfred Angula, who also doubles as the Secretary General of the Namibian Domestic and Allied Workers Union (NDAWU), is under fire from some staff members who in a letter of complaints argue that Angula runs the union with an iron fist, citing an incident that led to the dismissal of four workers by Angula in late 2010. The four are now back at work at the union offices after their re-instatement by the Labour Commissioner last year, following their dismissal for reportedly failing to submit their monthly activities to Angula, who was on study leave at the time in Germany. The employees claim that it is not unusual that reports are submitted afterwards. According to the complaints, there developed a disagreement between Angula and his most senior official after Angula issued a memo stating that the union would only pay the four staff members half their monthly salaries for not having submitted their activity reports. The announcement did not go down well with the four workers and eventually led to their dismissal after a disciplinary hearing in December 2010. The four reportedly tried thereafter to get the issue resolved amicably through the Secretary General of NUNW, who could allegedly not attend to the matter at the time due to his involvement in trying to resolve GIPF issues. The workers purportedly then laid a charge of unfair dismissal against the union, NAFWU and Angula, leading to their re-instatement in November 2011. The workers are now complaining that the work situation and workplace relationships are at present of such nature that the SG has decided to pay the staff on the tenth of each month, which often means that they receive their salaries late. Angula confirmed that he did send out an internal memo stating that staff would “only be paid upon performance,” but insisted that all NAFWU workers are always paid. “This union is driven by member recruitment and monthly contribution (N$20). Staff members have to cultivate a culture of work ethics to reap the rewards. These allegations are baseless” Angula maintained. Angula stressed that NAFWU, which has a membership of close to 5 000 members country wide, faces financial difficulties because of non or late payment of workers’ membership fees, the poor performance of some NAFWU staff and the after-effects of seasonal workers, who Angula says are not required to pay membership fees during the off-season. This group is predominantly employed in the grape industry in the south of the country. “I ran this union the whole of 2000 to 2001 without a salary, to do that one has to embody a work ethic,” Angula emphasised.