News; News & Events

NAMIBIA: National Union of Namibian Workers Rejoins BIG Coalition

Only two months after the Central Executive Committee of the National Union of Namibian Workers’ (NUNW) decided to drop out of the Namibian BIG Coalition, the 600 delegates at the annual congress of NUNW elected a new Executive Committee and voted to rejoin the BIG Coalition.

The CEC’s decision to drop out of the BIG Coalition could have been a major political blow for the BIG movement. Instead the announcement was followed almost immediately by an outpouring of support for BIG in public forums in Namibia. Now, with the reversal of the NUNW’s decision, the entire incident has become a BIG victory (so to speak). Instead of marginalizing the issue, the (former) union leadership’s decision demonstrated how broad the support for BIG is in Namibia and how out of touch that group of leaders was. BIG was not the only issue in the decision to change leadership, but it was an important one. According to Herbert Jauch of the Windhoek Observer, “The congress decision on the BIG will not only redirect the NUNW leadership but will also increase the pressure on the Namibian government to seriously consider the introduction of a national BIG as a tool to fight poverty.”

For more information about the NUNW Congress, a see, “The NUNW Congress: A turn-around?”

By Herbert Jauch, published in the Windhoek Observer, September 10-16, 2010. A PDF of this article is online at:

About Karl Widerquist

Karl Widerquist has written 950 articles.

Karl Widerquist is an Associate Professor of political philosophy at SFS-Qatar, Georgetown University, specializing in distributive justice—the ethics of who has what. Much of his work involves Universal Basic Income (UBI). He is a co-founder of the U.S. Basic Income Guarantee Network (USBIG). He served as co-chair of the Basic Income Earth Network (BIEN) for 7 years, and now serves as vice-chair. He was the Editor of the USBIG NewsFlash for 15 years and of the BIEN NewsFlash for 4 years. He is a cofounder of BIEN’s news website, Basic Income News, the main source of just-the-facts reporting on UBI worldwide. He is a cofounder and editor of the journal Basic Income Studies, the only academic journal devoted to research on UBI. Widerquist has published several books and many articles on UBI both in academic journals and in the popular media. He has appeared on or been quoted by many major media outlets, such as NPR’s On Point, NPR’s Marketplace, PRI’s the World, CNBC, Al-Jazeera, 538, Vice, Dissent, the New York Times, Forbes, the Financial Times, and the Atlantic Monthly, which called him “a leader of the worldwide basic income movement.” Widerquist holds two doctorates—one in Political Theory form Oxford University (2006) and one in Economics from the City University of New York (1996). He has published seven books, including Prehistoric Myths in Modern Political Philosophy (Edinburgh University Press 2017, coauthored by Grant S. McCall) and Independence, Propertylessness, and Basic Income: A Theory of Freedom as the Power to Say No (Palgrave Macmillan 2013). He has published more than a twenty scholarly articles and book chapters. Most Karl Widerquist’s writing is available on his “Selected Works” website ( More information about him is available on his BIEN profile and on Wikipedia. He writes the blog "the Indepentarian" for Basic Income News.

The views expressed in this Op-Ed piece are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the view of Basic Income News or BIEN. BIEN and Basic Income News do not endorse any particular policy, but Basic Income News welcomes discussion from all points of view in its Op-Ed section.

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