Namsov Seamen Petition Employer

ABOUT 275 seamen working on horse-mackerel vessels for the Namsov fishing company in Walvis Bay, yesterday handed a petition to Namsov’s CEO Jerome Mouton, demanding a response today or face more drastic action.

The workers are demanding overtime and night-allowance, which must not be integrated into commission, but paid out separately.

They also say the company is wasting money on recruiting Russians for general work.

According to them, there is also favouratism on the vessels towards Russian workers and discrimination towards black Namibian workers.

“There should not be different standards at sea but they still separate blankets and laundry between the black and the white workers. This is apartheid and cannot be allowed,” said the chairman of the Namsov shop-stewards represented by Namibia Fishing Industries and Fisherman’s Workers Union’s, Immanuel Petrus.

The workers also want an explanation why 17 of their colleagues were suspended for allegedly having done paintwork on a vessel while “the nets were in the water”, recently.

“There are quality standards to ensure the fish we land is not devalued by other activities. Now they are suspended for having maintained their integrity on the job,” said Petrus.

He argued on behalf of the workers that the vessel captains asked the seamen to do work that the captains knew was not right but still forced them to do it.

Another issue was that of housing allowance. The workers argue that the N$350 they were receiving was inadequate to even pay for rent.

“Aren’t we worth more than that?” asked Petrus,

Mouton said the points in the petition would be investigated and feedback given to the workers as soon as possible.

Source : The Namibian