On Thursday, October 25, the United Seamen Port and General Workers Union of Liberia (USPGWU), an entity defending the economic and social rights of 1000 industrial fishermen in the country, honored Emma Metieh-Glassco, Director-General of the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority (NaFFA) as a patron of the Union.
The Award, according to a release, made Ms. Glassco the second patron of the Union, next to President George Weah, who sits as the Union’s Chief Patron.
The Union’s President, Samuel K. Siaffa, who presented the Award to Ms. Glassco, described her as a results-oriented leader that has on many occasions fulfilled promises she has made to the workers.
The award, according to Siaffa, signifies the the importance of Ms. Glassco’s effort to empower Seafarer through capacity-building programs as well as her continuous support to refurbish the offices of the Union.
One of the Union’s officials, Freeman T. Gweh, informed the Daily Observer in an interview via mobile phone that the Union has employed about 125 members to industrial vessels.
Gweh added that through the intervention of Ms. Glassco in her capacity as NaFFA’s director-general, seafarers were presented the international certificate, a health document that shows seafarers are healthy for industrial vessels services.
In her response shortly after receiving the honor, Ms. Glassco expressed gratitude to the Seamen Union, while at the same time, dedicating the honor to President George Weah, who she said, is driving the overall vision to transform the country through the fisheries sector.
In response to the many challenges outlined by the Union, Madam Glassco said that NaFAA has heard the plights of the Seafarers, but has remained committed to ensure that 40 percent of crew members on industrial vessels are Liberians in keeping with the government’s regulations to promote Liberianization.
Ms. Glassco said that with the intervention of President Weah, there are ongoing efforts involving authories of Liberia Maritime Authority to enable each of the Seafarers obtain copy of the workers’ hand book.
The Blue Book is the seafaring license that legally enables Seafarers to board any, and all fishing vessels operating on Liberian territorial waters.