Etosha Fishing staff protest over contracts – The Namibian
On Tuesday, Etosha Fishing at Walvis Bay employees marched through the streets to protest the management.
Justina Mpelele, worker representative, said that the company isn’t honoring workers contracts after reading a petition.
“The company management gives us a 12 month contract but we are not working for 12 months. After working for one month, the company ends operations and stops us from working for one to two months. We are not paid any money if the company ceases to exist. The company management gives us a contract of no work, no pay,” she said.
Workers demand that the company provide decent jobs as required by the Namibian Constitution, and the Labour Act 11 (2007/07).
They are also dissatisfied about their housing allowance.
“Our housing allowance is different every month because the calculation of housing allowances is paid on the hours that we work. We can’t afford to pay for our housing, especially during the months when we aren’t working. Our landlords are evicting. We demand that the company pays our housing allowances every month in full. Our house allowances must be fixed at N$936 every month,” she said.
Workers also claim that the company has fired some employees unfairly, especially when they fail to report for duty.
The company claims to send employees text messages informing them to report to duty. But some employees don’t receive the messages. They want the company’s phone to be used as a notification method and to reinstate those who have been dismissed.
The workers are particularly upset that their salaries get deducted every time they use the bathroom.
“The company management also deducts the time we spend in the toilet. Five minutes in the toilet will be deducted from a worker’s salary if they go there for five minutes. You clock out through an electronic door system which is linked to the pay-roll system, the system will then deduct the number of minutes you spend in the toilet, and the minutes will be deducted from your salary,” said Mpelele.
According to the company, employees are required to submit their medical passports to determine what type of treatment they receive from doctors. According to workers, this violates their privacy right.
They claim that they do NOT receive compensation for going on leave. However, those who retire at retirement age will receive N$100 per annum for their work for the company.
They also claim that the Oceana Group gave the company money during the Covid-19 period. Oceana Group shares the company.
A sum of N$5000 was supposed to be paid to each employee. However, some employees were not able to receive these funds.
Workers want the managing directors and human resources managers to resign and to meet with the chairperson.
They gave the company 10 days to address their concerns, and then came up with a solution.
Nezette Beukes (the managing director) received the petition and promised to review it and get back with the workers.