Union laments working conditions
Imbili stated that not much has been done in the fishing industry to improve the workers’ lives. For instance, he said fishermen are not covered by the Labour Act, night work does not qualify for overtime and pregnant women are also not covered by the Labour Act. “Unless a commission is established to control the current situation, inequality will remain, employers protect themselves and foreigners still have the sector in their control”, said Imbili. He emphasised that profits should be shared fairly amongst all involved parties and that trust needs to be built among employees and employers and that regular open discussions should be held between both parties Imbili said workers have given in, asking, who listens to them when they are crying if even the ministries responsible are toothless. “We need a dialogue on this, we have to talk, the nation needs to look at what is taking place in South Africa.
Do we want the unions to do the same and at the end to blame the unions?”
The role of NFI is to negotiate for better working and living conditions for employees, better benefits and living wages as well as safety and health in their working environment. NFI is the youngest union in the fishing industry and they represent 35% of fishermen. NFI makes sure they represent their members well by keeping records of those they represent, and by keeping track of disciplinary hearings, wages negations and recruitment. NFI is affiliated with the Trade Union Congress of Namibia (TUCNA).