According to the aggrieved employees and contractors, since the appointment of Madam Emma Metieh-Glassco as the new Director-General, they have been discriminated and marginalized by her.
The employees and contractors, who pleaded with this newspaper not to be named for fear of being dismissed, accused Madam Glassco of employing more than 15 partisans of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) on orders of CDC Chairman Mulbah Morlu.
She is also being accused of constantly issuing threats of dismissal to employees in order to give space for the CDCians who were forwarded to her.
Among the alleged bad labor practices, those aggrieved workers disclosed that at least 80 percent of the Aquaculture and Observer Departments workers are not employed.
They also expressed frustration for their salaries not being increased as promised.
“When she came, she promised that she was going to increase our salaries and give us employment. She came on board with more than 15 CDCians that she has employed and increased their salaries over old employees,” one of the aggrieved employees explained.
Another spoke of low incentives, lack of life insurance and hazard benefits especially for employees and contractors, who go on sea as observers. He stated that they are only given US$10 per day when they go on sea. They also claimed that the fishing companies which hire contractors from NaFAAL give US$30 per day for each of them but NaFAAL authorities only give contractors US$10 per day out of that money.
According to them, the justification from their bosses is that taxes are deducted and only US$10 is left for each of them who go on sea to observe.
They further spoke of some of the partisans she employed as planted agents among them only to provide her with information on what they are saying against her.
“There is a girl named Sally that the DG planted among us to give her information,” one of the contractors noted.
The aggrieved people disclosed that the Madam Metieh-Glassco has suspended for time indefinite three employees — Albert Stewart, Wilmot Machelle and Ruth Cambell — just because they acted on their immediate supervisor’s order to inspect a ship that management believed was not registered.
Responding to these allegations, Director General Emma Metieh-Glassco, after two weeks of shoving this newspaper around, finally told her Communications Manager Lewis Konoe to deny all the allegations levied against her and the entity.
Konoe, however, confirmed that new people were employed but that those new employees aren’t CDCians as claimed by these aggrieved men.
He also denied that any of the entity’s employees is being discriminated against or marginalized since Madam Matieh-Glassco took over in March this year.
Still speaking of those employed, he added: “Those employees who were formerly of the Maritime formed part of the process. Everybody applied for positions and they were vetted by the committee. The list was published in March of this year after the vetting process. So for people to come out and say there is marginalization, nepotism and so forth is seriously untrue,” he clarified.
Konoe described the working relationship between employees and the Director General as cordial.
On the issue of salary increment and other benefits, Konoe said apart from the US$10 that observers received on sea per day, there are other benefits employees received. Unfortunately, he fell short of listing or naming extra benefits for these workers.
According to him, the observers who go on sea are rotated and they aren’t forced to go but are always willing to go because “they are well taken care of. They wouldn’t be encouraged to go on sea regularly, if they weren’t getting the benefits.”