We campaign

Measure fatigue on Project Horizon

As the voice of more than 22,000 maritime and inland waterways professionals, Nautilus works relentlessly to represent their interests and highlight their concerns.

Campaigning is a key part of our activities. We aim to stick up for our members, to ensure that they get the recognition they deserve, decent pay and conditions, high standards of health and safety, and that high professional standards are maintained.

Nautilus is independent from any political party, which allows us to stand up for our members’ interests no matter which parties are in government nationally or represented in the European Parliament. And thanks to our international status, we work across borders and in partnership with other like-minded organisations.

Jump down to: Campaign priorities | Political lobbying | Campaign strategy

Campaign priorities

Nautilus spreads the message on the issues that matter to members. For example, we have repeatedly highlighted the dangers of excessive working hours at sea and secured a major European research project to investigate seafarer fatigue. We’ve worked to raise awareness of concerns over the threats posed by substandard shipping and on the safety of bulk carriers and passengerships. And we have played a key role in industry-wide lobbying over the threat of piracy and the need for seafarers to be properly protected from the risk of attack.

We have consistently fought for more freight to be carried at sea and on water – emphasising the environmental credentials of coastal shipping and inland waterways – and repeatedly exposed the unfair competition faced by quality operators and skilled seafarers as a result of low-cost substandard shipping.

Nautilus has also campaigned against the criminalisation of maritime professionals and the imposition of tough security requirements that have curtailed rights to shore leave, and we continue to press governments to treat seafarers, inland waterways boatmen and all maritime professionals fairly and with respect, especially in the event of a maritime incident.

To find out more about what we are campaigning on today and how you can get involved, see the Campaigns and Strategic Campaigns sections in What we say.

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Political lobbying

Nautilus is not affiliated to any particular political party, so we are free to lobby politicians without fear or favour. We work at national level to inform politicians about the big issues in our industry and actively lobby them on the case for action to tackle the problems and challenges our members face.

In the UK, we hold regular meetings with the shipping minister, actively participate in the All-Party Parliamentary Maritime and Ports Group, and we submit evidence to House of Commons transport committee inquiries into issues such as maritime training, pilotage, port safety, and cuts in the Coastguard and emergency towing vessel service. We liaise closely with MPs and members of the House of Lords, and provide briefings to politicians to ensure that questions are raised in Parliament and to provide background information for debates on the maritime sector.

We work closely with other unions and – where appropriate – with shipowners, to maximise the impact of our campaigns and to ensure that, as far as possible, the industry speaks with a united voice of the core issues. We take motions to the national union federations (such as the TUC in the UK, FNV in the Netherlands and SGB in Switzerland) and work at international and European levels via the ITF and ETF, and by doing this we build support for key campaign objectives amongst fellow unions on a national and a global basis.

Nautilus also works extensively in Europe and internationally to provide expert opinion on critical campaign issues to the European Parliament, the International Maritime Organisation and the International Labour Organisation. We work together with other unions in the countries where we are located, across Europe and internationally to campaign for a fair deal and to build a better future for all maritime and inland waterways professionals.

Campaign strategy

Many campaigns are long-running and broad in their nature – such as the constant battle to persuade owners and governments to do more to tackle the growing national and international shortages of skilled workers in our industry.

Others are more focused on specific objectives, such as the Fair Transport, and Rotterdam to Rhine campaigns.

As well as the ongoing campaign work, we have also launched three targeted Strategic Campaigns designed to improve the day-to-day lives of members — Jobs, Skills and the Future, Crew Communications and Fair Treatment.

All our campaigns rely on the input and support of our members and the wider maritime and inland waterways community. Many Nautilus campaigns are based on the results of our own research and on direct feedback from members, which help to highlight issues in a vivid and authentic way. The final reports for many of these surveys can be found in the publications section of this site.

We always welcome ideas on the issues that Nautilus should be campaigning on, and we often need your help and involvement in spreading the message to the public and the politicians – anything from writing a letter, or completing a survey, to signing a petition or speaking to the media. If you would like to share your views on a campaign issue, or comment on features and stories contained in the Nautilus Telegraph please send an email to telegraph@nautilusint.org.

The more working professionals the Union represents, the more influence we can have. So if you work in the maritime or inland waterways industries and are not a Nautilus member, join us now to add your voice to our campaign work.


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Allseas campaign