30 May 2005

Fishermen and trade unionists chain themselves up in protest

About 20 leaders of local fishing communities and unionists defied the cold and wet weather by chaining themselves to the gates of parliament last night to protest against the government finalising a long-term fishing policy.

They said that they planned to remain chained to the gate until 6am today.

"We are stepping up our protest campaign towards getting (Environmental Affairs and Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk) to agree to a moratorium on the policy up until the department reaches agreement as to how to engage with (the stakeholders)," said Food and Allied Workers' Union Regional Secretary Peter Visser.

He said this protest followed news that Van Schalkwyk had taken the policy to the cabinet to get it approved on May 24 or 25, despite the second Nedlac-mandated meeting with the unions having been set for June 2.

Cosatu provincial Secretary Tony Ehrenreich said they would call for the resignation of Van Schalkwyk for disregarding "the ANC pledge of a contract with the people" as well as agreements which laid down that regional summits had to be held.

Source: www.themercury.co.za


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