Police remove casual workers
Several people have been arrested yesterday morning for resisting against members of the Namibian Police who removed them from a public area in front of the Namport headquarters in Walvis Bay. The arrested individuals are part of a group of casual workers who have been “camping” at Namport since last Friday, resisting a decision by the port authority to end their casual labour contracts.
The regional commander of the Namibian Police in Erongo, Commissioner Andreas Nelumbu first addressed the group of people and requested them to disperse and leave the area as their gathering was illegal.
When requests fell on deaf ears, the orders came. Soon members of the police pounced on the group of people, forcing them to disperse. Those who resisted were detained (a picture on our front page show one of the group members being dragged to a waiting police vehicle).
The situation was back to normal by midday. Nampol regional headquarters confirmed yesterday those detained were warned and released.
The group of casual workers have been camping outside the Namport head office for almost a week after they had been laid off by Namport. The casual workers had previously been deployed in repacking fish, which was over the years handled by Namport on behalf of the owners of the fish.
The packing operations became cost ineffective and from 1 February this year Namport discontinued the re-packing operations. Hence the services of the casual labourers were no more needed. Everyone was informed of the decision, but the casual workers were not satisfied by this decision and registered a case at the Ministry of Labour. They decided to camp in front of the port authority’s headquarters to highlight their discontent.