Retrenched fishermen reemployed

First phase complete

16 September 2020 | Fishing

Daniel Imbili; Union president; “It is tough luck for those who missed the memo…”

Walvis Bay • [email protected]

One hundred and eighty fishermen who were retrenched by Namsov have been reemployed by the fishing industry.

This was confirmed by Daniel Imbili, president of Namibia Fishing Industries & Fishermen Worker’s Union (NFI & FWU) on Tuesday.

Imbili said that Namsov had five vessels in the past, and when the situation started deteriorating at the company, it sold two of the vessels.

“Each vessel had about 70 permanent employees. Additionally, about 400 – 500 casual workers were also employed on these vessels. This includes those who were once-off casuals, while each vessel had more or less 50 registered casuals who would step in when permanent employees were on leave.”

According to Imbili, only some of the retrenched fishermen returned to work after the minister of fisheries Dr Albert Kawana availed a quota to facilitate their reinstatement.

“We cannot accommodate everyone. Tunacor agreed with the ministry that they will employ 180 persons. This number is unfortunately full; we cannot take more. The quota that was given, allows only for 180 people to be accommodated.”

Imbili said the process is complete.

“It is tough luck for those who missed the memo. The reemployment of the fishermen benefited three groups including members of the retrenched fishermen from Namsov, the striking fishermen and other fishermen who lost their jobs through other reasons.”

He said that the ministry of fisheries and the office of the governor are looking into how they can accommodate fishermen from the final two groups into the job market.
“These 180 are already receiving a salary, even while they are at home and this will be the case until they are called in to work.”

In August 2020, the governor of the Erongo region, Neville Andre, confirmed that Namsov fishermen have been absorbed by Tunacor fishing company.

“They signed contracts during the week of 20 August. I had a meeting with the union representatives as well as the companies that signed an agreement with the ministry of fisheries to employ these fishermen. The Namsov fishermen have been absorbed by Tunacor,” Andre said.

Minister Kawana gave the assurance that these employees would be
re-employed as soon as possible during an address in December 2019.

“I was given a directive by Cabinet to make sure that all those who lost their jobs, get it back as soon as possible. These workers should go back to work as this is a directive by President Hage Geingob.”

Kawana said the more than 1 000 retrenched and fired fishermen had suffered enough.

“The time has come for them to have bread on the table.”

He added that even the workers that took part in an illegal strike a few years ago would be employed, as everyone is human and cannot be punished for their mistakes forever.

“Nobody in Namibia must go hungry. The natural resources of this country must benefit all Namibians. According to Article 100 of the Namibian Constitution, the natural resources of Namibia belong to the state and they must benefit the people first.”

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