Harvest Krotoa’s cook, George Erasmus, has witnessed many changes that have taken place in the deep-sea trawling industry and is proud to have played a role in improving working conditions for fishermen.
George has worked in the trawling industry for 38 years and spent most of that time at sea, but for a period of 15 years, he was a representative of and a shop steward for the Trawler and Line Fishermen’s Union (TALFU). George helped to establish the Bargaining Council for the Fishing Industry that was registered with the Department of Labour on 14 December 2001.
The Bargaining Council provides a forum for employers and trade unions to meet and negotiate about salaries and conditions of employment for sea-going workers.
“Sea Harvest has played a big role in bringing change to our community,” says George. “I was part of that change because of my role in the unions and the Bargaining Council.”
A fully qualified caterer, George plays an extremely important role on Harvest Krotoa. He not only prepares three nutritious meals per day, he also ensures that the galley (ship’s kitchen) and lounge area provide a welcoming environment in which the crew can spend some of their leisure time. And, as one of the senior members of the crew, George provides sage advice and encouragement for the younger members. “I try to encourage them to make a career for themselves at sea,” he says, “the sea life is an adventure, not a living.”