More than 1 500 fishermen re-instated at Walvis Bay

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The government has enabled the re-employment of 1 577 fishermen who were part of an illegal strike in 2014, as well as those who were retrenched in 2017.

This was announced by Erongo Governor Neville Andre Itope during his State of the Region Address delivered here on Friday.

According to Itope, the workers who have been categorised as A and B have been re-absorbed into six fishing companies at Walvis Bay.

“Despite persistent challenges encountered with the registration process and the finalisation of the subsequent master list, I am pleased to announce that these workers have been successfully re-employed by different companies through a designated agreement with the Government,” the governor noted.

He also added that the verification of another group of affected workers, categorised as C, which includes ex-employees of the companies Heineste, Saga and Geyser, among others, has commenced through his office.

These workers include those who have lost employment after the mentioned companies seized operation after their involvement in the ongoing Fish-rot saga.

The governor, although happy with the re-employment process, however expressed concern with the dissatisfaction by employees of the standardised remuneration packages, terms and lengths of employment contracts put in place by these fishing companies.

“My office has taken note of this and I am happy to inform you that the Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources is dealing with the matter,” he said.

Furthermore, the governor noted that in collaboration with the fishing sector stakeholders, his office is also planning to host the first-ever Namibian fishing indaba to align the new fishing rights holders with the old fishing rights holders.

“This will ensure that all role players pull in the same direction and restore confidence in the fishing sector while ensuring its long-term viability,” he elaborated.

Source: Namibia Press Agency