West African workers push back against accused low pay from French-, Spanish-owned tuna vessels

The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) has accused several French and Spanish companies that own tuna fishing vessels of violating international labor laws regarding minimum wage and ignoring the grievances of fishing industry trade unions pushing for fair pay negotiations.

ITF, a global transport industry union, claims the French and Spanish companies –which operate in West Africa’s Gulf of Guinea – are undermining sustainable fisheries partnership agreements (SFPAs) the E.U. has signed with several African nations. The labor laws’ guidance concerning minimum pay, the ITF said, are clearly enshrined in the SFPAs. 

The agreements, states Yoro Kane, the general secretary of the Senegalese fishers’ union, define minimum monthly pay as USD 658 (EUR 590) for locally employed fishers in accordance with the International Labour Organization (ILO) minimum pay recommendation for fishers. According to Kane, African fishers working on the vessels in question are, on average, making about one-third that figure, at USD 219 (EUR 196) monthly.

“The ITF believes that fishers should be treated equal to their seafarer colleagues in merchant shipping covered ... 

Photo courtesy of the International Transport Workers’ Federation

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