SHIPPING

Labour Ministry Tells Goundar Shipping Limited To Show Proof That There Is A Shortage Of Maritime Workers

Goundar Shipping Limited has to prove that there is a shortage of maritime workers to warrant his intention of hiring workers from abroad.
30 Jan 2020 12:53
Labour Ministry Tells  Goundar Shipping Limited To Show Proof That There Is A Shortage Of Maritime Workers
Goundar Shipping Limited’s managing director George Goundar.

The Ministry of Labour had advised Goundar Shipping Limited (GSL) to analyse the market again.

GSL has to prove that there is a shortage of maritime workers to warrant his intention of hiring workers from abroad.

GSL had made an application to recruit Filipino seafarers to run his eight inter-island vessels.

GSL managing director George Goundar said they would consider all the views raised by the Ministry of Labour at their meeting yesterday.

Mr Goundar during the meeting claims that there are not enough seafarers in Fiji.

“23 of our staff are leaving for other places; few more people are applying to go back to study next week. Then there is a handful who despite not been given the approval just walked out,” Mr Goundar said.

“Out of the 23 that applied to return to class, I guarantee you that only 10 will return. It is a sad thing.

“What we are saying is that there is a lot of unskilled labour here.”

Mr Goundar said he’d rather employ locals but what could he do if they are not qualified.

“I am a Fijian and I’d rather hire locals but what we are saying is that there are a lot of unskilled labours here,” he said.

“Tickets are important now – it is simple, no ticket no job. That leaves us hapless as we can’t just hire anybody.

“We are the only shipping company that speaks out because we have a lot of vessels.

“If 110 people come today, we will employ them but they will have to meet the Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji (MSAF) requirements – they should have their tickets and have done with all their safety courses

“Our crew are jumping ships because of the shortage. My crew members are tired and they need to rest because they are also human beings.

“We are bringing 40 qualified Filipino seafarers who have signed a one-year working contract with us.”

There were no responses to questions sent to MSAF Board chairman, David Kolitagane yesterday when this edition went to press.

Feedback: wati.talebula@fijisun.com.fj

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