Eveline de Klerk
WALVIS BAY – Some former employees of Seaflower Pelagic Processing, who are currently employed at Tunacor on a temporary basis, are demanding permanent jobs as the current job arrangement is not desirable for them. SPP employees have been facing uncertainty since last year after their quota allocated through Fishcor was withheld due to Fishcor’s involvement in the Fishrot scandal.
SPP, the horse mackerel processing plant, was established through a joint venture between Fishcor and African Selection Fishing (ASF) in 2017. This agreement allows SPP to access at least 50 000 metric tons of horse mackerel until 2031. However, the company is going through rough seas and unable to exploit its quota due to an ongoing dispute with government over the Fishcor partnership. Some of the employees expressed their concern, saying that the deal with Tunacor does not provide security even though it puts bread on the table.
“Some of us literally do not go to work and still get paid as the company cannot absorb all of us. However, it is not good that we just sit home and collect salaries. We are young and productive,” one of the employees, who refused to be named, told New Era. About 400 former workers of SPP have been employed at Tunacor since 1 December after the state-owned Fishcor board signed an agreement with Tunacor to temporary employ them.
In exchange, Tunacor was offered a 4 000-metric ton quota last year and paid the temporary employees N$2 500 per month. The three-month agreement is coming to an end next week Wednesday. When contacted for comment this week, chairperson of the Fishcor interim board Mihe Gaomab indicated that they are aware the contract is coming to an end and are exploring a more permanent solution for the former SPP employees.
“The board will meet and then I will provide feedback on Friday. You will be the first to know,” Gaomab said.