Cooler IOT ensures steadier family incomes


Ms Alexander (centre) talking with a worker during her visit. Second from left is general manager Madnack. Extreme right is Mr Focktave

Their families are therefore more guaranteed of a steady income than when the premises used to be hot so workers often left, saying they could not bear the temperatures.

The bread winners expressed their satisfaction when talking to journalists during the visit there last week by Labour and Human Resource Development Minister Idith Alexander.

Ms Alexander was accompanied by senior officials from her ministry and from the Ministry of Finance, Trade and Investment, as well as from the Seychelles International Business Authority. Also present was the director general for immigration Ronald Focktave.

The IOT currently employs 63% foreigners and is keen to recruit more Seychellois, said the company’s general manager Joe Madnack who took the officials round the complex that has been improved steadily over the years.

“The factory improves all the time. If you are absent for just three weeks you are bound to notice new things when you come back,” one of the managers, Barney Adeline told Family Life.
“We are scheduled to close down in June as usual and I guarantee you if you come back after that you’ll see some improvements,” he said.

Those who knew the factory before were pleasantly surprised to find that for three years now, workers in the fish cleaning section enjoy air conditioning that pumps in cold air above the cleaning lines.

Some places are even cooler, but some workers, for example in the labelling section said they would appreciate if efforts were made to make their area cooler too, to which management said it had already bought the necessary appliances to boost the workers’ comfort.

Workers at the factory. The long fabric balloons above them bring in cold air from the air conditioning system keeping the fish cleaning hall cool

Some workers who spoke with the media said they have been there for many years and they are quite satisfied with the present conditions.

IOT’s management said they hope to hold a long-service award soon at which the long serving workers have requested the company to give them chains with tuna sculptures as souvenirs.
During the visit Ms Alexander interacted with some of the Seychellois workers who were on duty, and discussed issues that are affecting them.

She said her ministry will work closely with IOT to come up with strategies – like salary revision, infrastructure improvement and flexible working hours – to attract more local workers.

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