The Increase in Insurance Fees Is Causing Serious Problems for Iran’s Fishermen
By Staff Writer
Amongst all the other other problems that the fishermen of Golestan (in North of Iran) are experiencing, they are now faced with an additional increase in their insurance fees. Despite delivering their harvest two months ago, they haven’t been paid either.
According to ILNA (Iran Labour News Agency) from 14th May 2018, the CEO of the Fishermen Trade Union of Golestan Province, Ebrahim Kalteh, states: “besides the decline in harvest and several other issues, the fishermen of this province are now faced with additional concerns, such as their outstanding payments from the officials of the Sturgeon Affairs Department, as well as their increased insurance fees.”.
He says that the amount currently owing to fishermen for this year’s harvest, stands at around 200 million Toman, and explains: “we have been following this up with the authorities at least several times, but haven’t reached any results yet”.
When the CEO of the Fishermen Trade Union of Golestan Province was asked about the fishermen’s earning and why they haven’t been paid, he answered: “despite catching the sturgeons, the fishermen have unfortunately remained unpaid; in the previous years, they got paid just a week after delivering their harvest, but this year, it has not been the same and I don’t know why”.
Kalteh also comments on the problems caused by the overdue payments: “the frustrated fishermen have gone to the houses of the responsible officials and have protested many times. Due to the accumulated debts, the officials have received a lot of pressure from fishermen, to the point that one of them had a stroke”.
One of the other main challenges of fishermen is their insurance. The CEO of the Fishermen Trade Union of Golestan Province points out: “we have around 400 fishermen here in Golestan province, and one of their biggest concerns is their insurance; the challenge is so significant that hardly 100 of them have been able to pay their insurance fees.”.
Kalteh explained that the fishermen cannot afford such expensive premiums, and that: “the fishermen cannot even afford their daily expenses, let alone their insurance fees; especially given that it’s compulsory even in low-harvest seasons”.
He describes the increase in price, from 251000 Toman last year to 300,000 Toman this year; and that: “Paying the insurance fees is compulsory for the 6 months that fishermen work, but optional for their unemployed periods; however, they still cannot afford it”.
Kalteh also addresses this issue in terms of retirement and pension allowance: “for instance, we have an 80 year-old employee who despite his age, has not been able to retire; because he has been unable to pay his insurance fees regularly.”
He also refers to another fisherman who “had paid for his insurance for 20 years but was unable to afford it for its remaining few years. After he passed away, his family were not allocated any pension allowance; and despite our multiple attempts for resolving the matter, nothing was achieved”.