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China slowdown's impact on Namibia

Photo: WEF

China, the world's second largest economy, has been undergoing an economic slowdown that is likely to persist until the end of the year, and Namibia is affected too.


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      Mutually Assured Destruction Trade Unionism?

      by Editorial Team

      Photo: Contributed

      PITY THE NAMIBIAN worker.

      Even as they marked May Day on Sunday, in addition to Monday being declared an extra day off work, Namibian workers must be wondering what there is to celebrate.

      That the country's economy remains in the doldrums is now probably the least of the working class's concerns. Workers can expect few favours from employers. But what they probably worry about more these days are the wolves in sheep's clothing who call themselves their representatives.

      Namibian workers have long been losing faith in established trade unions from the liberation struggle era.

      As a result, the vacuum is being filled by a new breed of politicians, who have set their sights on gaining the votes of workers by opportunistically deploying a devil-may-care approach aimed at the destruction of business and labour negotiation processes.

      The Affirmative Repositioning (AR) outfit has long adopted the principle of mutually assured destruction: If they are not allowed at the dining table, they'll throw sand in the food.

      They have recently been joined by an opposition party, the Namibia Economic Freedom Fighters (NEFF), with personalities of the unashamedly crude capitalism ilk.

      Values and character apparently no longer matter if the right rhetoric is deployed. Empty as it may be.

      Pity the Namibian worker for not being able to discern who their champion of the moment is.

      During the liberation struggle and for a fleeting moment after independence, unions were part of the genuine vanguard of the people's interests – even for the unemployed. They fought for workers' rights and helped accelerate the struggle for independence.

      Soon after independence, trade union leaders were easily seduced by the glitz and glamour of the boardroom table as corporate directors and C-suites; their mouths wide open in awe at governmental job perks.

      They eat at the trough of business and state power, leaving one to wonder where their loyalties lie.

      The lure of easy riches has blinded them to such an extent that they have been unable to reinvent and reimagine a trade unionism that champions worker's interests in a fast-changing environment.

      As a result of their ineptitude, we are seeing the emergence of vigilantism masquerading as so-called 'revolutionary' trade unionism.

      Leaders of political parties, starting with Swapo, would be well advised to appreciate the independent role trade unions should play, and should put an end to their co-option tactics, which will only lead to mutual destruction.

      Top of Press Freedom

      NAMIBIANS MAY PAT themselves on the back over the country's improved ranking on the World Press Freedom Index 2022, despite losing the number one spot in Africa to the Seychelles.

      Not too shabby, moving from 24th to 18th internationally.


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