Remaining striking fishermen to be re-employed

21 May 2021 | Labour

LEANDREA LOUW

WALVIS BAY

The remaining 290 unemployed fishermen who went on an illegal strike five years ago will be re-employed by a local fishing company.

An estimated 4 000 employees went on strike for better wages in 2015 but were subsequently fired after the strike was declared illegal.

Erongo governor Neville Andre visited the fishermen at the open area next to Kuisebmond soccer stadium, which has been their daily meeting place over the years. He said that a cabinet resolution was passed in 2020 pertaining to the re-employment of the fishermen.

“The re-employment was divided into three different categories: Former Namsov employees; the striking fishermen; and all other unemployed fishermen. The ministry of fisheries was directed to avail a quota to give to specific companies to employ these fishermen. In terms of the quota received, the companies were to indicate how many people they would be able to employ. The ministry has alreadysigned agreements with these companies.”

Companies that have absorbed some of the fishermen include Tunacor Fisheries, Merlus Group, Cavema Fishing and Hodago Fishing.

Relief

“Initially, the fishing company only agreed to take 200 employees, but after engagement, they have agreed to take all 290 fishermen. I will be meeting with the executive directors of the ministries of fisheries and labour, union leaders and the company to finalise the deal.”

Hangana Seafood Pty Ltd, a subsidiary of the Ohlthaver & List group, will apparently employ the remaining fishermen.

“I sympathise with you and your living conditions, since you have been jobless. We are all concerned about your living conditions and we want to see it improved”, Andre stated.

Namibia Fishing Industries and Fishermen Worker’s Union (NFI and FWU) engaged the governor on the plight of the remaining fishermen.

NFI and FWU president Daniel Imbili said it was painful to see the suffering of the fishermen.

“Brothers, let us not repeat the mistakes of the past. Let us map the way forward. There is still a way to go for everything to be a success. We don’t want to see any more fishermen standing at this field.”