An immigrant fisherman told how he never worked in the industry again after suffering a head injury during an 18-hour shift.
Aid Shehata (54 years old) is among a group of immigrant fishermen who want the Government to end the annual renewal visa system and allow them to find work in other fields.
The International Federation of Transport Workers claims the system, the atypical work permit scheme, makes it difficult for them to refuse requests to work overtime.
It says it ties them to ship owners and many undocumented when injured.
Mr Shehata arrived in Ireland in 2009 and worked on fishing boats from the ports of Skerries, Crosshaven and Skibbereen, initially undocumented.
“I was eventually enrolled in the atypical work permit program after it was started in 2016 but then the boat owner didn’t renew my contract because I didn’t accept to work long hours at the rate I paid. The pay is terrible,” said Mr. Shehata, who is married and has three children. based in Egypt.
He said he was working on another boat but suffered a head injury after being chained to a fishing net during an 18-hour shift.
“I was unable to work for many months and never worked as a fisherman again. I want to be able to work legally but I am not allowed to apply for the document program even though I have been in Ireland for 13 years. ”
The ITF wants fishermen to switch to a regulatory, critical skills licensing program that will allow them to challenge hazardous working conditions and change employers.
The head of campaigns for the International Federation of Transport Workers in Ireland, Michael O’Brien, said a fisherman must be left undocumented for four years before they can apply for a separate scheme to be set up. into a document.
He said the risk of them losing their visas if they were laid off or lost their jobs due to injury meant they felt forced to endure unsafe activities.
Mr. O’Brien claims 15 to 20 hours in a shift and a culture of health and safety cover-up has become the industry standard.
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/migrant-fisherman-who-suffered-head-injury-during-18-hour-shift-i-would-like-to-be-able-to-work-legally-41438999.html Migrant fisherman sustains head injury during 18-hour shift: ‘I want to be able to work legally’