Namibia: Gendev Cuts Salaries By 30 Percent

GENDEV Fishing at Walvis Bay has resorted to cutting salaries due to insufficient quota, as well as the restriction of fishing within a depth of 200 m.

Peter Strydom, the company's general manager, on Monday told employees there was little they could do to sustain salaries as the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources was not supportive.

This year the fishing company received an estimated 12 000 tonnes of horse mackerel, but needs 35 000 tonnes to make a profit.

"We feel the ministry is not supporting Gendev and Seaflower Pelagic Processing. We supported the ministry's call to create on-land employment. Now the ministry is not supporting us," Strydom said.

Gendev has not received a sufficient quota since 2015.

"This company was not making profits," said Strydom.

Gendev operates midwater-horse mackerel trawlers, which are licensed to fish at a depth of between 62 and 120 m.

Strydom said their trawlers are unable to find fish within the 200 m range.

As a result, the company's land-based factories have since July not been able to operate and employees were sent home with full pay.

Strydom said the company's shareholders have not received any dividends since 2015, and are growing tired of investing in an unsustainable business.

"Any company at Walvis Bay in the fishing industry needs to catch and sell fish to gain income. We are asking for permisison just for our five vessels to catch beyond the 200 metres. If the minister does not give us that allowance we will not be able to catch fish," he said.

On Monday the employees petitioned the company, claiming the reasons provided for their salary reduction were unjustified.

"The reasons the company is giving to cut our salaries are wrong and misleading. We are told the company does not have enough quotas, but Gendev was given a quota by the government, and they have a quota.

"The reality of the matter is that all Gendev vessels are broken and are being repaired, which is not our problem, but the management's," read the petition.

Workers are also demanding the general manager's resignation, and that their December salaries are paid by 15 December.

Gendev operates a land-based Namibian horse mackerel factory with 600 employees.

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