​SIMETEC alleges “setback” in negotiations on reducing the retirement age of seafarers

​SIMETEC alleges “setback” in negotiations on reducing the retirement age of seafarers
​SIMETEC alleges “setback” in negotiations on reducing the retirement age of seafarers

Africa-Press – Cape verde. There is a setback in negotiations with the Government to reduce the retirement age of seafarers. This is because the executive says that everything will depend on the creation of the early retirement regime in the private sector, said this Monday, the president of SIMETEC.

The parties met once again on the afternoon of this Monday, 26th, at the Ministry of Maritime Economy in São Vicente. The Government was represented by the Minister of the Sea, Abraão Vicente, the Minister of Family, Inclusion and Social Development, Fernando Elísio Freire, the Minister of State Modernization and Public Administration, Edna Oliveira and the Secretary of State for Finance, Alcindo Mota.

The president of the Metalworking, Transport, Communications and Tourism Union (SIMETEC), Tomás Delgado, was not satisfied with the possible solutions to an old issue.

“We, the unions and seafarers, are tired of this process that has been going on for 30 years. For us there is a setback and we will not accept that, because there has been a deliberation by the Social Coordination Council since 1993. And there have been several deliberations over these 30 years telling the Government to implement the retirement age for seafarers. As it has not been done so far, we will not wait for the legal framework to reduce the retirement age in the private sector to see this implementation”, he states.

The executive undertakes to present, within a month and a half, data on the impact that reducing the retirement age will have on social security or the State treasury. Tomás Delgado recalls that a year ago the Minister of the Sea made a commitment to find a solution to the problem of seafarers.

“Despite having brought a very large team here today, with many ministers, it is more than clear that it is yet another delay. Once again the process will be delayed. From now on we will talk to seafarers about the Government’s proposal and suggestion and we will wait a month and a half to return to this issue”, he says.

On the Government side, Minister Fernando Elísio Freire explains that for any change to legislation that relates to any sector of activity, an early retirement regime must be created in the private sector, which does not yet exist.

“The Government has already taken the decision to make this change. And only from there will we be able to talk about the process of early retirement of the various sectors of activity such as seafarers, journalists, bricklayers, people who work in construction, people who work in aviation, in road transport. We are now opening up a field to have a suitable solution”, he explains.

“And we want this appropriate solution to be fair because the seafarers say they are right, the employer may think the seafarers are not right. The Government has to work for the general interest”, she explains.

In March 2023, during a meeting with SIMETEC, minister Abraão Vicente said that the issue was political and had to do with the financial impact it represented. The nature of the work and the worsening health situation of seafarers after the age of 60 are some of the arguments presented by the union to justify the need to reduce the retirement age from the current 65 to 60 years.

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