Nine Executive union members of the Mineworkers Union of Namibia Rossing Branch were fired September 2020 by the Chinese National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) Rossing Uranium Limited which wanted them to give healthcare concessions, give-backs and also allow the Chinese workers to be brought in outside the contract and labor laws undermining the conditions and benefits of Namibian workers.
The arbitration hearing on this illegal discharge of the entire union leadership will be held on October 27, 2021 in Nambia.
Please issue a statement calling for the rehiring of the fired Namibian Mine Workers Union Rossing Branch and call on the Chinese National Nuclear Corporation (CNNCC) and Chinese President Xi-Jinping To take action to return these union leaders to their jobs and to end the union busting.
Solidarity Movement for the Unfairly Dismissed Branch Executive Committee of Namibia Mine Workers Union Rossing Branch
We reach out to you our brothers and sisters,fellow workers and comrades across all corners of the world to stand with us in solidarity against victimization, intimidation, abuse of powers and employers that don’t follow the labor laws and legislation of the country. The management of Rossing Uranium Ltd. Is one of those employers that did so on the 29th September 2020 when they decided to unlawfully and unprocedurally dismiss the entire branch executive committee of 9 employees in their individual capacities for allegations they claim we apparently acted as a unit and for being part of the branch executive committee making this an attack on the Union. We condemn this cowardly acts because not only have they violated the Namibian Constitution, the Labour Act 11 of 2007, the Procedural (Recognition) Agreement of 14th November 1988 but they have infringed on the very rights our forefathers gave us through the birth of independence and through various great strikes of workers. The birth of the Mine Workers Union of Namibia (MUN) was at Rossing Uranium Ltd in the 1970’s and most of the Union leaders elected in office will attest to this, “from the very first day you become a Union Leader at Rossing Uranium Branch, its like the spirits of our forefathers come over you and guide you in everything you do with only one goal and that is to work for the people’’.
Since we took up office in 2017 we made it our aim to stand up for workers right; to stop any violations from the company; to built sound labour relations with the company; to educate and train our members on company policies,agreements and conditions of employment; to expose criminal activities and never compromise anything. The Rossing Uranium management wrote letters with intensions of renegotiating our conditions of employment to worse off conditions on a number of occasions but we reminded them that those condition did not come on a silver platter and that the Labour Act of Namibia says that an employer cannot change an existing condition to a worse off one and if there is a dispute on a condition of employment the condition that is better off prevails. This frustrated the management, who threatened to remove the Union office, branch chairperson’ full-time office and boardroom on site in an effort to disable and sabotage Union activities of the branch executive committee. They further started targeting Union leaders ( the regional chairperson, the general secretary and a former national president of the Union) with a price tag on their heads to start plotting against us. It was the general secretary and the regional chairperson of MUN that betrayed us through a letter they wrote to the company saying that the branch did not have authority to appoint a lawyer to act on the branch’ behalf of which the MUN Constitution says otherwise, the sad story is the company has the audacity to ask the national office whether the branch had permission or not, and a Union member of MUN is a juridical person and the Rossing Uranium Ltd is a juridical person and neither persons have authority over the other on how each runs their affairs.
This dismissal have affected not us but our family, extended family and the community we serve emotionally; physically and financially as we were dismissed for standing up for the workers rights and conditions, the employers are doing what they want because they have the financial muscles do what they want and if they get any resistance from anyone they deal with them any way they see fit. We have each worked an average of more than 10 years for Rossing Uranium Ltd and some of us our fathers, mothers, uncles, aunts, nieces and cousins have worked for Rossing and that inspired us to go work there.
It is really hurtful to loose your job like that and not knowing what the future holds for you, we are still young and still have many more years to work, the oldest of our comrade is 49 years and the youngest 32 years. We currently facing serious financial and emotional hardships as a result of this dismissals.
We call on every worker and every comrade to stand with us in solidarity and condemn any employer that is in violation of workers rights. We also appeal to comrades, brothers and sisters to assist us with any financial support during this time as we fight Rossing Uranium Ltd through the justice system for their unlawful acts.
The Union will always advocate for fairness, equal treatment and justice for all.
In solidarity the Dismissed BEC Rossing Branch.
nternational Labor Solidarity Committee For The Namibian Miners
For further information & for solidarity statements contact
George Martin, NMWU Rossing Branch Secretary
The Working Class Movement (Namibia) A Report
About 3,500 occupants of the Endobo Hostel are facing eviction by a former official of the Goldfields management of the TCL (Tsumeb Corporation Limited) mine of Tsumeb, which went into liquidation in 1998. This management with some trade unionists of the Mineworkers Union of Namibia (MUN) formed a company Ongopolo Mining and Processing Limited in 1999.
In 2000 the company obtained a court order of the High Court to take over all the assets of the TCL for N$57 million:
40 million from the Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF) and,
17 million from the TCL miners’ pension fund, the operational capital of the mine was subsequently funded by the TCL mineworker’s pension fund to an unknown total amount until it too was taken over in 2005.
Despite the court order the members of the former TCL (Goldfields South Africa) management formed a bogus company Ongopolo Mining Limited with which they seized the so-called noncore properties and the government simply allowed the funds from the GIPF (Government Institutions Pension Fund) and the workers’ pension funds was wasted.
Since 2002 one Christof Groenewald a former member of Gold Fields management start charging rent on the dilapidated Endobo Hostel, which was not habitable in terms of the health standard, policies and laws. In 2008 Endobo Hostel was proclaimed as part of the township of Tsumeb, but there was no compliance certificates issued and approved plan or layout, in terms of the Local Authorities laws and regulations it was not habitable because it did not comply with inspections.
In 2018 after numerous eviction applications in the magistrate’s court he (Christof Groenewald) lodged an eviction application in The High Court in Windhoek. The landlord then used the Courts and the Namibian Police to try and evict tenants namely; Bartholomeus Shipipa, Alfeus Shiputa, Tomas Samuel, Cornelius Iyambo, Lena Boois, Moses Ndumba, John Kasona, Saara Tegelela, Lazarus Shikongo, Magdalena Guim, Petrus Mbundu & Elton Gaoab. Two other members were arrested Willem Matjaji & Eugine Matongo on charges of trespassing by the Namibian Police Warrant Endjala with no court order; amongst this was also other acts by the so called landlord, water and electricity cuts to the hostel for weeks the people of Endobo hostel were left without these two essential services. During all this events the matter was before court and no court order or what so ever was given for him to act so inhumanly towards the tenants.
The community of Endobo found out later that the Hostel does not belong to Christof Groenewald and that he used the Municipality of Tsumeb and the Namibian Police as power to abuse the peace of the Endobo tenants. On the 11th to 15th May 2020 the matter was set for trial in the High Court in Windhoek the lawyer representing the community was new on the case and he was not granted adequate time and facilities to study the case in order to prepare a strong defense and above all it was a one sided trial as the judgment was in favor of Christof Groenewald.
We therefore realized how corrupt the justice system of Namibia is, how it cannot be trusted and we appealed to the Supreme Court, but while the appeal is still pending.
As we speak the police arrested occupants; the magistrates court still issue eviction warrants without court orders. This case is a clear example of clear entire corrupt State organ being used by the Goldfields mining management in Tsumeb and its shows that Tsumeb is owned by these cruel an manipulative elite that are harassing and victimizing thousands of workers, many of them descendants of the contract laborers.
Every Namibian has the right to decent accommodation and or shelter with the basic essential utilities, a right to a free and fair trial without any right being infringe, we live in a democratic state which must uphold the rule of law and protect its citizen by any means but instead our citizens are treated like second class citizens and denied their fundamental rights and freedoms to the advantage of some elites and foreigners by advancing corrupt practices.
NAMIBIA FISHERMEN UNITED ASSOCIATED
In 26 October 2015 more than 4000 fishermen were illegally dismissed and referred the dispute to the office of the labour commissioner for unfair dismissal and the application was rejected without a valid reason, falsely claiming that the time prescribe for the dispute to be filed.
The labour commissioner ignored the countless communications being it telephonically or written letters from the fisherman on the mistake made by his office to reject their application for over a year and they also appointed a lawyer from Cape Town to represent them and once more the labour commissioner failed to reply and with this a review application was t filled in Labour Court in 2019. The review was unopposed and Judge Hosea Angula took the matter to the High Court which had no jurisdiction to hear the matter, we objected and requested him to recuse himself due the nature of our case and the past history and connection to the fishing industry.
The request was ignored and he dealt with the matter in terms of the rules of the High Court dragging out the matter for more than a year, the FISHERMEN DEMAND THE RIGHT TO APPROACH a COURT OF LAW AND FOR A FAIR HEARING. They founded the Namibia Fishermen United Association in 2019 after being betrayed by most of the unions during and after their strike in October 2015 which led to their illegally and unlawful dismissals.
The Unlawfully Dismissed Mineworkers Union Branch Executives of China National Nuclear Corporation Rossing Uranium Limited
The Mineworkers Union of Namibia (MUN) was formalized in 1986, the Rossing MUN Branch signed the first ever recognition agreement in Namibia on the 14th November 1988 that governs the relationship between MUN and Rossing Uranium Ltd, which is still in existence.
Under Rio Tinto as a majority shareholder at Rossing Uranium Ltd, as employees we were part of the greater Rio Tinto and labour relations were based on the existing laws although we had our difference we still coexisted and Rio Tinto respected and complied with legislation, the internal policies and agreements. Rio Tinto understood the role of the union with regards to the Supreme Law of Namibia and Labour Act 11 of 2007.
This all started to change when Rio Tinto sold all shares in Rossing Uranium Ltd to CNNC (China National Nuclear Corporation) in July 2019, the China National Nuclear Corporation management used every opportunity to suppress and threaten union rights by demanding to renegotiate our existing conditions to less favorable conditions.
The following agreements were targeted:
Procedural Agreement of 14th November 1988
Performance and Conduct Procedure (Disciplinary Code)
Retrenchment Package Agreement
Condition of employment
Salary Scales and structures
Medical aid provider
Their renegotiation attempts failed and this culminated into grave attacks on union leadership and led to the unlawful and illegal dismissal of the branch executive committee.
Between July and September 2020, the management unlawfully and illegally suspended, charged and dismissed the Nine Executive Committee Members in their individual employment positions on unfounded and witch hunt allegations against MUN (Mineworkers Union of Namibia) for leaking confidential information about the illegal employment of the 4 Chinese nationals in management to the media, breaching employment contracts and bringing the company’ name into disrepute.
For the mine to dismiss an organ of the union is a complete renunciation of the laws of Namibia, what will be the full social economic and political implication of this? It will mean Namibia is not a sovereign state, there is no rule of law, and legal entities in Namibia are without any legal protection. MUN Rossing Branch is the foundation and torch bearer of the union movement in Namibia this attacks on the union movement as express in the Rossing situation echoes the capitalist attack on the union movement around the country and around the world, as leaders of the workers movement (union) we will defend this fundamental rights which Namibian workers have fought and won for more than a century.
We filed two labour disputes with the office of the labour commissioner in August 2020 and October 2020, the first case is of unfair labour practices, where we had one session and it was postponed for a future date; and the second case is the unfair dismissals that was previously postponed on three occasions and the latest being the 19 April 2021 during conciliation based on CNNC Rossing Uranium Ltd request and after that we received a court order from CNNC Rossing Uranium Ltd for the proceedings to stay.
This are the following nine unlawfully dismissed members with their different profiles of the Mineworkers Union of Namibia CNNC Rossing Uranium Limited Branch that worked an average of 10 years on the mine,
Branch Chairperson - Johannes Hamutenya (Warehouse Controller) worked 13 years for Rossing Uranium Ltd
Branch Vice Chairperson - Albertos Alexander Hennes Haraseb (Shovel Team Leader) worked 16 years for Rossing Uranium Ltd
Branch Secretary - George Martin (Condition Monitoring Technician) worked 13 years for Rossing Uranium Ltd
Branch Vice Secretary - Samuel Shindume (Fitter & Turner) worked 5 years for Rossing Uranium Ltd
Branch Treasurer - Fillemon Ihuhwa (Shovel Team Leader) worked 15 years for Rossing Uranium Ltd
Branch Vice Treasurer - Paulus Shikongo (Boilermaker) worked 13 years for Rossing Uranium Ltd
Branch Secretary for Information and Publicity - Julius Ashipala (Auto Electrician) worked 9 years for Rossing Uranium Ltd
Branch Vice Secretary for Information and Publicity - Hafeni Nalusha (Shovel Team Leader) worked 12 years Rossing Uranium Ltd
Branch Full-time Shop steward - Roben Snydewel (Blaster) worked 9 years Rossing Uranium Ltd
The role of imperialism today has reflected in the CNNC Rossing Uranium Limited example is to destroy fundamental rights and derogate the social economic and political relations and in particular the property relations brought to bear on the working classes worldwide. This actions have also spread to our sister mines as we have our brothers and sister being which hunted by this corporate giants simply for standing up for their rights and members,
The bay Feng branch executives and their shop stewards where also dismissed unlawfully for demanding justice as their chairperson was unlawfully suspended and given a final written warning and they handed a petition which led to their dismissals
The BestCheer members are currently facing retrenchments as a result of a recently ended almost 4 months strike, as they demanded for better wages, benefits and healthcare. This is a strategy used by the management to get rid of the union and them representatives to remote control workers.
Elgin Brown unfairly dismissed a very vocal and ethical Affirmative Action representatives (Leonard Ipumbu) that stood for workers’ rights, equal and fair treatment for all workers. He won his case at arbitration with his prayer being reinstated with all losses but the corrupt arbitrator deliberately erred and she did not award reinstatement and loss but instead only ordered loss of basic salary. He is currently challenging the arbitrator’s award in the labour court with a review application.
Jumbo Char Coal also unfairly dismissed a Union representative (Veronica Paulse) that represented workers at disciplinary hearings, grievances and health and safety matters. Her case was filed with the office of the labour commissioner and she is still waiting for her arbitration date.
We firmly believe that the only outstanding matter to resolve this increasingly destructive situation is the crisis of leadership in the working class movement, we dedicate ourselves to work to resolve the crisis by building such a leadership nationally and internationally.
We are calling on international solidarity as we stand together with the Fisherman United Association, the unlawfully dismissed Mineworkers Union Branch Executive of China National Nuclear Corporation Rossing Uranium Ltd., TCL Miners, BestCheer Employees, Bay Feng Unlawfully dismissed Branch Executives and employees, unfairly dismissed shop stewards and Affirmative Action representatives.
Forward and onward,
MUN Rossing Branch Leadership
A Brief Struggle of the Union Movement in Namibia (South West Africa).
Swakopmund, Namibia, Africa.
To: Workers and Union Movements World Wide
A Brief Struggle of the Union Movement in Namibia (South West Africa).
The Namibian Working class has since the late 1800 been confronted with exploitation and general labour unrest. In the 1900 we had various strikes, notably the 1971 – 1972 general great strike. It was against all forms of abuses in all sectors of the industry. The strike brought the whole country to stand still. This showed the shared power of the working class, it set of the seismic power of the working class, demonstrating to the whole Africa how powerful the working class can be. It was the most historic demonstration of the power of the working class, it inspired the whole southern Africa to rise up and indeed the whole working class of southern Africa rose up in 1973.
The union movement got into focus, so much so that the struggle spilled back from South Africa into Namibia, that in 1978 the labour movement (union) was born in Rossing Uranium Mine. They tried to brutally suppress but they did not succeed, jailing the leaders under Administrative General (AG) proclamation 26. The repression continued but failed to supress the rising working movement, in 1984 the workers won the rights to organize the union movement and register trade unions. The culmination of those rights were contained in the 1992 Labour Act (Legislation), the pinnacle of labour rights in Namibia.
The problem is while as the Namibian working class succeeded in winning these significant union and labour rights as was enshrined in 1992 Labour Act and the 1990 Democratic Constitution of Namibia, the multinational corporation came down with vengeance to try nullifying the unions and labour rights in its entirety. The last bastion of Labour Rights Rossing Uranium Mine is now under massive attack by the Chinese National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) Rossing Uranium Limited, if Rossing Labour Rights falls then, it is the end of unions and labour working class rights in Namibia.
The ultimate vision is to defend and restore union rights with all the legal and all the other possible and impossible means at our disposal, as the anti-union actions will not only be the destruction of union rights but also the destruction of the rule of law and all the fundamental rights that Namibians fought for.
We have inalienable rights of freedom of association and the democratic rights of juristic persons, for foreign corporations and multinational corporations to override the rights of juristic persons in Namibia, individuals or corporate is the end of fundamental rights in this country (Namibia).
In this particular case, since Chinese National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) became majority shareholder of Rossing Uranium, when they bought out Rio Tinto round about July 2019, the Chinese management used every opportunity to suppress and threaten union rights, they are anti-union which translate in anti-workers’ rights. They came to outs and uproot the dully elected organ of the union which was established in terms of the Supreme Law of Namibia (Constitution), Labour Legislation (Labour Act), and MUN Constitution. By doing so they destroyed the corporation existence of the union as a juristic person. It must be understood that the agreement between Mine Workers Union of Namibia( Union) and Rossing Uranium Mine is between two independent juristic persons, who has the legal capacity competence to conclude an agreement between two equal legal entities. Contractual relation between entities in a democracy like Namibia is only enforceable between two equal entities in this case between the union and the mine.
For the mine to dismiss an organ of the union is a complete renunciation of the law of contract, what will be the full social economic and political implication of this? It will mean Namibia is not a sovereign state, there is no rule of law, and legal entities in Namibia are without any legal protection.
We as leaders of the workers movement (union) will defend this fundamental rights which Namibian workers have fought for more than a century, we therefore appeal to the union movements worldwide to assist us to resist the destruction of the union rights in this country and to stop the defeat that has been inflicted on the working class of Namibia, not only at China Nation Nuclear Corporation Rossing Uranium Limited Ltd, but Nationwide.
The Struggle Continues
The Nine Dismissed Union Leaders
Solidarity support statement sent to
George Martin, NMWU Rossing Branch Secretary
Namibian Rössing mine workers left exposed - National Miners Union Supports Rössing Union Branch
National Miners Union Supports Rössing Union Branch
Posted by Daniel Terblanche
Date: Jul 15, 2020 in: Breaking News
TACTICS by the Chinese owners and managers of Namibia’s oldest uranium mine to decapitate the Branch Executive Committee (BEC) of the Mine Workers Union of Namibia (MUN) at Rössing from its regional and national structure has failed.
The dispute started when the proxies of the Chinese Government, China National Nuclear Corporation, unilaterally decided to do away with a decades-old right of union representatives to be afforded their own office space for administrative purposes is now growing into an inevitable confrontation which could lead to criminal charges being brought against individuals in the mine’s management structure.
However, the COVID-19 pandemic and resultant restrictive measures have reduced a festering dispute at the mine to a contest of letter writing skills.
Rössing Chinese owners managers Namibia uranium mine Branch Executive Committee BEC Mine Workers Union
LOOMING SHOWDOWN: The President of the Mine Workers Union of Namibia, Allan Kalumbu, is concerned about workers of Rössing Uranium Limited being treated as second-class citizens by the Chinese mine owners.
A letter of demand by the legal representatives of the BEC to restore the union’s entrenched rights led to the summary suspension of committee members and shop stewards which left workers on the mine without any representation and exposed to the whims of the Chinese managers.
To counter the move by the mine’s management, workers elected interim shop stewards to represent them if and when the need would arise.
The managers in a letter, however, notified the workers that the people in acting positions will not be recognised as legitimate union representatives.
The workers then countered by informing the management in a letter that they intend to withhold labour by staying on the buses that transports them until such time that they are allowed to hand over a petition in which they demand that the suspension of the BEC members must be lifted.
The mine informed the workers in a letter that “staying on the bus” would be tantamount to an illegal strike and in contradiction of a certain section in the Procedural Agreement that they have signed with their employers and that matter will be dealt with in terms of the company’s performance and conduct procedure.
The MUN’s Regional Chairperson, Abiud Kapere, said the situation at the mine has become untenable because the BEC members were suspended and that they were informed that it is subject to an investigation of some kind.
“We still have to be informed what the investigation is all about,” Kapere said.
He said that in the meantime the MUN’s regional leadership has engaged the mine’s management in a letter and requested that the handover of the petition be put on hold until an amicable point can be reached between the two parties.
“They have since sent us a letter that a moratorium was placed on further disciplinary action against the BEC members,” Kapere said.
The President of the MUN, Allan Kalumbu, said the current situation at the mine is of grave concern to the Union.
“The workers are left exposed and we are reduced to corresponding with letters to rectify the situation. It would be better if we all could sit around a table where the way forward can be hammered out and discussed,” he said.
Kalumbu said that with the State of Emergency in place the national body can hardly do anything and added that it would be a very sad day in Namibia’s labour history if the COVID-19 pandemic is used as a loophole by the management of China National Nuclear Corporation to dismiss workers.
Namibia Mine Workers Union Rossing Branch Letter to Chinese President Xi-Jinping
In Africa there is a thread that connects us together, we believe in an African adage" Muntu Muntu Movantu" a person is a person because of persons.
It was never the rabbit or tortoise, the lion or the ant, it is and was always all about the community, sharing and caring for one another and that is why although we are the mother of civilization, it was never used to colonise others, we always strive to be one people on smaller and large scale, that to us is communism and spectacular socialism, that ideology widens our arms to welcome citizens of the world in their various forms as brothers and sisters in macro economics as investors.
The Light Away Difference
Under Rio Tinto, as employees of Rossing Uranium Limited we were part of the greater Rio Tinto and enjoyed sound labour relations characterized by humanity, respect and mutual benefit for employer and employees, compliance with legislations, etc., we co existed, enjoyed industrial stability, peace and harmony.
We always strive and looked forward to a better tomorrow, a notion and an ideology that seemed alien to Chinese government employees assigned to Rossing Uranium Limited as Management under the Chinese watch.
Harassment and Job Security Mirth
Although continuity of employment was under threat as Rio Tinto sought to diversify, the announcement that Chinese Owned Company was the new majority shareholders terrified sending shock waves to employees. Negating employees to demand a pay out from Rio Tinto before CNNC takes over, however Rio Tinto assured employees that CNNC was carefully selected, it is a Chinese company with a high level of ethics and that we should be rest assured and they will be a good employer, a dream we had awaken from.
We can only conclude that if that was image, then it seems that during the selection the claws were retracte because immediately upon arrival we started receiving requests to renegotiate agreements that we have enjoyed over many years under Rio Tinto.
Perpetually demanded the changing of employment conditions to less favorable and the Revocation of the existing procedural (recognition) agreement, leave days, Sick leaves days, recruitment policy and the performance and conduct procedure (disciplinary code) etc,.
As Namibians the least we can get for exploitations of our natural resources is discent employment, no slavery, no victimization, no exploitation, no abuse, no intimidation, no unbearable conditions, etc.
During the diplomatic meetings, we were repeatedly reminded of the role the People Republic of China played during the fight of the war our liberation, independence, against lawless, discrimination, economic slavery, corruption, abuse of power, autocracy, dictatorship, colonization, etc.,
It seems the savior have become the killer, as it seems more of changing of hands, from a hyena to a tiger. There is no difference between that dark dispensation and these deplorable exploitative and draconian iron fist dehumanizing treatment that we were subjected too as Union leaders and for the management of Rossing Uranium Ltd to scoope to such low, cheap and uncalled for tactics just to get rid of us putting the workers through the very oppressing system that our forefathers fought through the struggles.
Your Chinese Nationals at Rossing Uranium Limited profess to be people of peace, it is not so in its real sense but its rather Marshall law, do as the master says and rulling by inflicting fear. That is exactly what Chinese Management Assigned to Rossing Uranium Ltd did to us without a single ethical, emotional or humantarian consideration. We are left to question the real advancement of this Chinese management, can it be that we are dealing with coded machines under instruction to destroy?
It further seems, when we rejected bribe advances from Mr Feng, we became meat. It is a shame that the next uprising in Namibia or greater Africa or the world is an uprising against Chinese colonialism.
The Chinese ambassador to Namibia committed that Rossing will operate for many years, we never knew it will come at the price of slavery.
Your citizens deployed as management orchestrated our dismissal at all cost, they started by threatening us, writing letters of instruction to the union head office to discipline us, threatening to remove our agreements and privileges and finally touching us and our family by fabricating charges on witch hunt tactics and doing everything in their power against all odds to dismiss us.
We the nine dismissed employees have an average of 102 people that directly depended on us month to month, we bought cars, houses, clothing and furniture on credit, some of our kids were attending private schools, being driven every day to school by ourselves or by taxis, today we are not able to provide for our families just because of exercising union rights as represented of employees as per the Labour Act 11 of 2007 and Procedural (Recognition) agreement 14 November 1988 and the Namibian Constitution.
Under Rio Tinto, Rossing was always an employer of choice, however under the Chinese majority ownership, it has become an employer of no choice and un
Mr Xi Ping, communism that you and the good people of China stand for is about community, the people and their welfare. The action of your citizens not only threatens the stability, sovereignty and constitutionalism but also the already destatible name not only of your people but nation.
The hate and destate will continue to rise if you as the chief in command does not take a stand of humanity against the humanitarian crimes that your people have committed against us.
Unless it is your instruction to subdue, conquer, eliminate others and enslave others. If it is not, then we seek your solidarity stance, your intervention to restore our employment and equally pronounce a word to your people at Rossing Uranium Limited and the greater Namibia to refrain from mistreating Namibian employees.
Although we believe that you will act, time is against us as we do not know how long it will take for this letter to get to you, if ever and when will you act. Our families and us are in dare need of survival, we are sowing in the wind hoping seeding for a ground harvest.
Our names have been made dirty and tarnished, getting employment in Namibia is almost impossible, it is the same as expecting a Chicken to grow teeth, therefore re-employment looks like the only option that can happen if you intervene.
Mean while as we eagerly await your imminent intervention, We appeal to the international communities, Unions in Africa, America, Australia, Russia, United Kingdom, South and Noth America, in China and Asia and to all non governmental, etc, to help us to fight this morden colonialism and slavery.
The 9 dismissed Rossing Branch Executive Committee members
Press Statement By The Rössing Executive Branch Of The Mineworkers Unioon Of Nambia (NUM) To All The Workers of Namibia & Our International Comrades
The online platform, Further Africa, on 19 July 2019 reported that, “Chinese state-owned entities have effectively
taken control of uranium mining in Namibia, following the takeover of Rössing uranium mine by China National Uranium
Corporation Limited (CNUC).
Rio Tinto announced on Tuesday, 16 July 2019, that it has completed the sale of its 69 percent stake in Rössing Uranium
Limited, which owns the Rössing mine near Arandis in Erongo region.
The Rössing uranium mine situated in the Namib Desert is the world’s longest-running open pit uranium mine.
The mine has been producing and exporting uranium oxide from Namibia to nuclear power utilities around the world
since its inception in 1976.
Chinese state-owned entities have effectively taken control of uranium mining in Namibia, following the takeover of
Rössing uranium mine by China National Uranium Corporation Limited (CNUC).
Rio Tinto announced on Tuesday, 16 July 2019, that it has completed the sale of its 69 percent stake in Rössing Uranium
Limited, which owns the Rössing mine near Arandis in Erongo region.
The Rössing uranium mine situated in the Namib Desert is the world’s longest-running open pit uranium mine.”
On 26 July 2019 the CNUC (China Nuclear Uranium Corporation) formally took over as a majority shareholder of the Rössing
Uranium Mine. With it, the Chinese mining management inherited the Collective Agreement of 1988 between the Mine Workers
Union of Namibia (MUN) and Rössing Uranium. The MUN like the CNUCwere juristic persons, equal before the law. They were both
tied to the terms of the collective agreement, which were legally enforceable.
In terms of the MUN’s legal status it had a duly elected union branch executive at the Rössing mine. The branch is legally
untouchable by the mine management.
This Rössing branch executive committed itself and worked to rebuild the union to its original vision and to restore the solidarity
amongst workers both nationally and internationally.
On 2 July 2020, the management suspended the executive from their individual employment positions on allegations against the
branch executive for leaking information to the media.
We the former branch executives were elected into office in October 2017 with the mandate from our members to restore
Rossing Uranium Branch to its former glory days re-establishing union and workers’ rights in full. We were faced with a number
of challenges at Rossing Uranium and the Rossing Management made it their ultimate goal to remove the recognition as the
sole bargaining agent and to nullify our Procedural (Recognition) Agreement by deliberately violating it. We made it our aim to
challenge any violations from management and in doing so the management started plotting a personal vendetta against the
leadership of the branch.
Subsequent to the suspension, they held disciplinary hearings ignoring our objection that the management had no right to
fabricate charges on problems it had with the executive. They dismissed all nine of us with an average of 10 years working
at Rossing Uranium mine and directly affecting our dependents and our extended families just because of a selfish agenda
with the aim of enslaving the Rossing workers and bringing back the abolished contract system that was fought by our
forefathers during the colonial and or apartheid system.
Since the majority shareholder changed, the existence of the Mine Workers Union was under threat because management has
opted to intimidate, victimise and scare any member of the MUN and remove most of the rights enjoyed through the freedom
We state that the Rössing Mine management’s unlawful actions signal the end of union and workers’ rights in Namibia.
Ironically enough, it is here at Rössing that the union movement in Namibia started and through bloody struggles finally won
union rights since 1978. The glory of that achievement was expressed in the fact that the united working class of Namibia
formulated their rights in a constitution drafted by the Rössing workers and which established the basis of the workers’
rights and programme since then.
Nineteen-seventy-eight was the culmination of struggles of workers throughout the South African colonial period which
saw its pinnacle in the 1971/72 Great General Strike in which contract labour in all economic sectors brought the country
to a standstill. The historical significance of this struggle is that they pointed the workers to the end-goal. It showed
everyone the indispensibility and the power of our class.
This inspired the South African working class to rise up since 1973 until South Africa overthrew Apartheid in 1994.
This was our inheritance. The actions of the Rössing management are designed to destroy these accomplishments,
rights and the law expressing them.
It wishes to displace independent unionism with puppets in the service of management. This is with what they are
Our executive warns the entire Namibian working class that their very rights and ability to fight against their
erosion are at stake.
We call on all the workers of Namibia, our brothers in NUM and NUMSA in South Africa, our brothers in the union
movement in Africa, Europe and elsewhere to join us in whichever way possible to fight to preserve the little which
remains of our union movement and in the fight to restore it to the level at which we once again can call it a movement.
We have taken this matter to the Labour Commissioner, which appointed a corrupt arbitrator who openly colludes with
the management. The Government holds 3% shares in Rössing, but has to enforce the law.
The Labour Commissioner breaks the law.
The case is a mockery in that the management dismissed the executive members due to a dispute it created against the
branch executive, but the Labour Commissioner’s office refuses to hear the matter as one, but as individual unfair dismissals.
The above shall give us all an idea of what and where the struggle of the Namibian working class is now.
Our executive branch undertakes to fight this matter to the end.
KINDLY EXPRESS IN WRITING YOUR SUPPORT FOR OUR STRUGGLE!
Namibia: CNNC Rössing Uranium mine must reinstate nine dismissed union members
21 January, 2021The Mineworkers Union of Namibia (MUN) is challenging the unfair dismissals of nine union leaders at Rössing Uranium mine and calling for their reinstatement. The union says besides the charges being spurious, due process was not followed and the disciplinary hearings that took place were a shamble.
The nine members of the former branch executive committee at the mine are accused of gross negligence, bringing the mine owner, China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) Rössing Uranium, into disrepute, and for breaching confidentiality.
The charges came after the nine refused to accept CNNC’s proposals to amend the existing collective bargaining agreement. The union says the dismissed leaders also asked “uncomfortable questions” on the irregular appointment of some senior managers at the mine. The managers, who were recruited from China, had work permits for another company and not for Rössing.
MUN says when CNNC bought Rössing Uranium mine from Rio Tinto in July 2019, guarantees were made that working conditions would remain the same and that existing collective bargaining agreements would be respected.
However, a few months later, CNNC wanted changes in the agreement, including on leave, medical aid, wages, and retrenchment provisions. After facing resistance from the union and being notified of impending strike action, the company instead targeted the union leadership.
“These sound industrial relations, built over many years with Rio Tinto, are not only guaranteed as part of the asset sale to the current owners but are guaranteed in the constitution of Namibia. Unfortunately, the violations reflect a disturbing pattern of abuse by Chinese Investment in Africa which will not be allowed,”
says Glen Mpufane, IndustriALL mining director.
The matter is now before the labour commissioner for arbitration and conciliation.
Valter Sanches, IndustriALL general secretary, says:
“CNCC is intent on busting the union through intimidation and attempting to instil fear in workers to stop them from joining the union. This anti-union approach to labour relations is against the existing collective bargaining agreements and threatens the cordial relations that exist with the workers.
“We urge the employer to respect the existing collective agreements and to not temper with the rights of workers to demand better working conditions.”
Rössing Uranium is an open pit mine whose lifespan is expected to last until 2032.
Photo Credit: Conleth Brady / IAEA
Namibian Rössing Mine Workers Face Covid-19 & Attacks From State Owned China National Uranium Corporation Limited (CNUC)
The Mineworkers Union of Namibia (MUN) Rossing Branch & The Struggle of The Namibian Working Class
Namibia Rössing, union in wage deadlock https://www.namibian.com.na/198882/archive-read/Rössing-union-in-wage-deadlock
China and Namibia Rössing Workers on Collision Course
Namibia MUN claims China National Nuclear Corporation is falling short of its Rossing promises
Namibia Rössing uranium mine union members face dismissal by Chinese owners
Swapo, what is 'Socialism with a Namibian Character’?
Namibia says China can buy Rio's uranium stake if it respects laws
MAY 29, 20191:18 AMUPDATED 2 YEARS AGO
By Nyasha Nyaungwa
WINDHOEK (Reuters) - Namibia’s mines and energy minister said he has no objection to Rio Tinto’s sale of its uranium mine stake to China provided it respects the African nation’s laws.
A logo showing an entrance to the Rio Tinto owned Rossing Uranium Mine in the Namib Desert near Arandis, Namibia, February 23, 2017. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko
Rio, which is seeking to divest less profitable assets, said last November that it was selling its 69% stake in the world’s longest-running open pit uranium mine to China for up to $106.5 million and expected the deal to be completed in the first half of 2019.
Asked whether the sale would be cleared, Mines and Energy Minister Tom Alweendo told Reuters: “We have no objection to the sale provided that the buyer abides by what’s expected of him by our laws.”
China already owns stakes in Namibian uranium production, which, along with diamonds, is the mainstay of the Namibian economy.
Addressing concerns among Namibians that China will bring in foreign nationals to replace local employees, China National Uranium Corporation (CNUC) Vice President Li Youliang told a public hearing last week that was not the case.
There was “no intention to replace local Namibian employees with foreign nationals solely as a result of this transaction,” he told the hearing in the coastal town of Swakopmund.“In fact, CNUC has a strong commitment to maintain the current level of local employees.”
Rio Tinto is selling its stake in Rossing Uranium mine to CNUC in a deal dependent on approval from the Namibian competition commission.
The Namibian government holds a 3% stake in Rossing and 51% of voting rights. The Iranian Foreign Investment Company also holds a legacy 15% stake that goes back to the original funding of the mine, which could have deterred some potential buyers.
The other shareholders are the Development Corporation of South Africa (10%) and individual shareholders (3%).
China is targeting nuclear power as an alternative to fossil fuels. It was the only obvious buyer of the shares in the Ros sing mine.
Rossing has been operating since 1976 and has produced more uranium than any other mine. It employs around 1,000 workers and can carry on producing until 2025.
The sale agreement comprises an initial cash payment of $6.5 million, payable at completion, and a contingent payment of up to $100 million following completion.
The contingent payment is linked to uranium spot prices and Roofing’s net income during the next seven years.
While China is a big source of uranium demand, the market has languished as Western countries turn away from the energy source and trade tensions between the United States and China are generally disrupting commodities trade.
View events for the week of 10/27/2021
From the Open-Publishing Calendar
From the Open-Publishing Newswire
|Solidarity Rally For Fired Namibian Rossing Miners|
|Import into your personal calendar|
|Date||Wednesday October 27|
|Time||4:00 PM - 5:30 PM|
|Organizer/Author||UFCLP, FSP, Si Cobus,|
San Francisco Chinese Consulate
1450 Laguna St/Geary St.
Added to the calendar on Thursday Oct 21st, 2021 6:15 PM