Placement process of retrenched striking fishermen assessed

Warning issued

23 August 2021 | Ministries

Utoni Nujoma; Minister of labour and industrial relations and employment creation; “Some of the re-employed fishermen are refusing to preform duties as instructed by the respective employers…”

Walvis Bay


Reemployed former striking fishermen that are not willing to work as per instruction of their respective employers will be replaced by other unemployed fishermen who wish to work.

The minister of labour and industrial relations and employment creation, Utoni Nujoma, issued this warning after he and the minister of fisheries and marine resources, Derek Klazen, met with trade union representatives at the coast recently.

The aim of the meetings with representatives of the National Union of Namibian Workers (NUNW), The Metal and Allied Namibian Workers Union (MANWU), the Namibian Seaman and Allied Workers Union (NASAWU), The Namibian Transport and Allied Workers Union (NATAU) and the Namibia Food and Allied Workers Union (NAFAU), was to get an appraisal of the progress made with regards to the placement of fishermen who were retrenched due to the illegal strike in 2015 as well as the challenges facing the fishing sector.

According to Nujoma his ministry took note of various teething problems in the reintegration process following various meetings.

“Some of the reemployed fishermen are refusing to preform duties as instructed by the respective employers and are sitting at home while earning an income.”

The minister also said that mushrooming of new unions that are not acting in the interest of workers or any specific sector in the region are also likely to cause disruption or a strike like the illegal strike experienced in 2015.

He further cautioned the employees against causing disruptions in the sector particularly during a challenging economic environment backdrop and Covid-19 pandemic.

Nujoma reminded the fishermen that it is not easy to reintegrate people who have been without employment for more than five years.

He urged the trade unions not to politicize the plight of the fishermen and the process of reintegrating them into employment.

“Not honouring the agreements and politicising the reintegration process will result in the suffering of employees. Decisions were taken through the process of consultation between government, the employers and the trade unions and agreed upon in the spirit of social dialogue and tri-partism.”

The two leaders also appealed on the trade unions to maintain professional leadership and to render psychological support when engaging the workers.

The two ministers intent to visit the harbour town in due course to meet with industry leaders who played a critical role in the re-employment of the fishermen and to appreciate the efforts by the fishing companies in the region to support government in addressing the plight of unemployed fishermen.

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