WALVIS BAY – The fisheries ministry will engage the industry on the employment conditions of some former fishermen and Seaflower Pelagic Processing employees.
At least 1 300 workers have been absorbed by various fishing companies although some did not take up physical employment.
Fisheries minister Derek Klazen last week at Swakopmund indicated some of the arrangements made with companies to absorb the former employees back into the industry will be up for review.
The contracts are automatically renewable as long as the companies keep the workers.
As a result, Klazen said, the ministry will negotiate once again with the industry, to come up with more productive employment contracts as some are just getting paid while at home. “This thing of people sitting at home and getting paid is a concern for us and we want to see how we can get them to do the actual work as well. Some of the companies cannot really provide permanent jobs unless they invest in more vessels or new factories,” Klazen said.
However, he said companies such as Hangana Seafood made the former employees part of their workforce.
“I spoke to Hangana this morning and all 292 employees were absorbed and are doing actual work. Some are in the fishing factory while others are at sea. This is the kind of partnership that we want,” he said.
The agreement with Hangana as well as the employment conditions offered by the company to the workers is what the ministry will now advocate for.
He indicated that this specific agreement was done in line with the Labour Act as well as all international labour conditions of organisations Namibia is part of and will be the guiding tool for both the fisheries ministry and the labour ministry going forward.
Walvis Bay-based Cavema Fishing took in over 600 employees while Tunacor Fisheries offered employment contracts to 180.
Some Seaflower Pelagic Processing employees were in limbo after SPP had their horse mackerel quota withheld due to the ongoing Fishrot saga.
Government negotiated with various fishing companies to employ them and unemployed fishermen who went on an illegal strike in 2015.