The Marshall Islands Fishing Venture fired two employees this week after learning the two initiated a strike last Friday that resulted in dozens of workers not showing up to work at the Delap fish base.
The human resource office at MIFV estimated over 20 workers didn’t appear for work based on false information.
“The two also threatened to harm workers,” MIFV officials said. “One of them was intoxicated and brandished a knife at the security gate.”
“We have a lot of sharp knives in our plant, so we can’t risk having them (the two former employees) back to work,” an MIFV official told the Journal.
What started the ruckus: an employee was denied charging privilege due to insufficient work hours.
The employee requested to charge fish to his account, a privilege given to employees. After work, MIFV employees routinely sell to the public bags of cut fresh fish, which they buy from the company on their accounts.
When the employee was told he couldn’t charge fish, he became angry and told coworkers MIFV administration had stopped allowing employees to charge fish against their pay. The individual rounded up a group of workers for a meeting last Thursday night, and with the help of alcohol, pulled a successful strike the following day.
What happened last Friday: after noticing a large number of workers missing from their stations, supervisors notified administration.
Soon after, crew from the longline vessel off-loading tuna at the MIFV dock, along with maintenance workers and help around the plant were directed to work the assembly lines.
In short, the company had to work an extra two hours beyond the usual schedule to meet the required tuna quota for the day.
Read more about this in the November 10, 2017 edition of the Marshall Islands Journal.