RMTU calls for end of "blood Phosphate" imports after New Zealand High Court judgment

Willington (New Zealand) 19 March 2021 (SPS)- The Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) reiterated its call, in a press release published on “Scoop” Today, to end imports of “blood phosphate” from Western Sahara following New Zealand High Court judgment last 15 March, in which it clearly established that Morocco neither has sovereignty nor administrating power over the occupied territory.

RMTU National Secretary, Wayne Butson, says the ongoing importation of blood phosphate was unacceptable, adding that “the Court has sent a clear message by noting blood phosphate imports pose a reputational risk to New Zealand’s wider interests."

“It is inevitable the imports will end as international concern grows about the plight of the Saharawi people of Western Sahara,” the press release adds.

The Trade Union recalled that “since 2012, pension and investment funds worldwide have excluded investments in companies involved in the exploration and extraction of resources in Western Sahara, including on the basis that the phosphate trade contributes to Morocco’s continued presence in Western Sahara.”

It further recalled that back “in 2019 the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions (CTU) passed a resolution condemning Morocco’s illegal occupation of Western Sahara and calling upon the New Zealand government to halt importation of phosphates from the area.”

The RMTU represents port workers in several New Zealand ports the phosphate is imported into.

As a CTU affiliate, the RMTU has taken a number of actions to raise awareness of the situation in ports, including delivering a letter of protest to the captain of a phosphate ship in the Port of Tauranga earlier this month.

The RMTU is committed to continuing its protest action with the goal of ending the importation of blood phosphate into New Zealand. (SPS)

090/500/60 (SPS)