Today, PST owns three trawlers and employs 40 people. Each trawler has a crew of seven.
Trawlers are often at sea for several days, as Finland’s best fishing waters are far away.
Under Pekka’s supervision, fishing crews unload the fish when they return to port. The fish is
kept chilled in PST ’s warehouse. PST freeze some of the fish. Tapio manages the employees
who work in the warehouse. She also has a team of employees who carry out administration,
such as record keeping, issuing and paying invoices, and managing the subcontractors who
service the trawlers, transport the fish to markets and provide fuel. Some human resource and
accounting functions are outsourced.
As a family business, PST has always tried to create a friendly working environment. Teamwork
is essential, particularly for the crews of the trawlers when they are at sea. The work on the
trawlers can be dangerous, so good training and discipline are important at all times. All crews
undertake extensive induction training. There are also additional training sessions on board
the trawlers to update the crews’ skills. In addition, all crews are required to attend annual
training for health and safety and safeguarding at a local college. Pekka takes responsibility for
mentoring the trawler captains.
Pekka is strict with all aspects of the management of the trawlers and crews, including rigorous
application of health and safety laws, compliance with government regulations and quotas,
and accurate record-keeping of the fish caught. He has excellent working relationships with
the crews, and he insists that there is no room for taking risks. He is strict with procedures
and responsibilities. All the trawlers and the overall fishing operations have a clear command
structure. Pekka supports the trawlers’ captains if disciplinary matters arise. PST pays good
salaries to crew members, and crews receive generous bonuses for good catches.
Every six months, one trawler is taken out of operation for a major service, which lasts a month.
As a result, the trawlers remain reliable, outage costs are reduced and operating costs are
improved. The trawlers also last longer before PST decides they need to be replaced. This
means that scheduling the trawlers has to take planned outages into account. In addition,
scheduling trawlers and crews can be difficult because of the weather and other unpredictable
events. A fishing trip may take longer than planned and the crew will expect time off between
trips. Equipment, such as nets, can be damaged and can take several days to repair, losing
valuable fishing time. Sometimes, replacement of a broken or worn mechanical part can take
up to two weeks to be delivered. Pekka would like to find a way of replacing parts quicker and
Historically, the crews at PST have been all male. However, several women have recently
asked to work on the trawlers. Pekka and Tapio recognize the need for diversity. Pekka thinks
that diverse crews would be good even though only about 3 % of trawler crew members in the
European Union, and about the same in Finland, are female. Tapio is concerned that additional
costs would be involved in employing women and that there may be practical problems on
board ships, such as sleeping arrangements. Pekka is worried about how the all-male crews
might react. In Finland, all employment is covered by equal opportunities legislation. However,
low labour turnover in the trawling industry means that there has been very few opportunities for
women to work on trawlers.
Tapio is open-minded and flexible about the ways that her teams work. She encourages new
ideas and alternative ways of working in the office and warehouse, as Tapio oversees the staff
in the warehouse. She delegates tasks whenever opportunities arise. Because some tasks are
more interesting than others, she operates job rotation.
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