IN a rare show of solidarity the National Union Namibian Workers (NUNW) and the Trade Union Congress of Namibia rallied more than a thousand of their members working in in the fishing industry to participate in a massive protest march through against phosphate mining on the seabed off the Namibian coast.
The mass protest at the coast occurred on the eve of an application in the High Court of Namibia where the way in which mining licences were issued to the companies that aims to develop phosphate mining projects will be challenged.
The Secretary General of the NUNW Job Muniaro and Paulus Hango, the representative of TUCNA in Walvis Bay met the marching fish factory workers at the office of the Ministry of Environment and Tourism where they highlighted the workers’ concerns about phosphate mining.
Both the unionists was united against the possibility of the mining of rock phosphate off the Namibian coast and said that it would negatively affect the marine environment and the marine resources of the country.
The fishing industry employs about 15 000 directly and about 30 000 more in upstream and downstream industries.
The union leaders made no secret of the fact that the workers they represent will not tolerate the destruction of the fishing industry and the industries surrounding it.
In this regard an even bigger protest march is planned for Windhoek before the application will be heard in the High Court.
Muniaro said that people have been travelling to Windhoek over night to participate in the protest march that is set to start at the NUNW complex in Katutura later this morning.
According to Muniaro the protesters from both union congresses will march on the Office of the Prime Minister where the same petition that was handed over to a the special advisor to the Erongo Regional Governor in Walvis Bay will be handed to the Prime Minister. The protestors will then march to the High Court to drive home their resistance to phosphate ming.
The chairman of the Confederation of Namibian Fishing Associations, Matti Amukwa, welcomed the protest march in Walvis Bay and said it is heart warming to see the solidarity between workers on this very important issue.
“It is wonderful to see the solidarity between the workers and their respective unions but we will unfortunately we will all have to wait for the High Court to make a ruling in the matter.”
He said message of the fishing industry cannot be mistaken orignored by the authorities.