Skip to main content
Nautilus news

Global fairness commitment from Nautilus International at 2019 General Meeting

9 October 2019

The 2019 Nautilus International General Meeting has given strong backing to the Union’s work to achieve decent treatment for all of the world's seafarers.

Proposing the Fair pay at sea motion, Nautilus general secretary Mark Dickinson noted the continued problems of low pay, exploitation, abandonment, abuse and owed wages affecting far too many of the world's seafarers. He pointed out that effective action to address these problems would benefit the entire shipping industry and help create a level playing field for Nautilus members.

'There is no future for an industry which keeps scouring the world for the next source of cheap labour,' he told the meeting. 'The future should be one of high quality and respect.'

Speaking from the floor, Nautilus national secretary Steve Doran agreed, pointing out that his work brought him into contact with many decent companies who want to compete on quality rather than low pay, and who appreciate the Union's support on this issue.

Nautilus member Russell Downs asked if Nautilus intended to 'name and shame' employers who were mistreating their employees through low pay and poor conditions. Mr Dickinson answered that the Union is seriously considering warning members about such companies.

The Union's previous Fair Pay at Sea campaign was successful in helping to secure an improvement in the rate for the ILO minimum wage for seafarers. With the Fair pay at sea motion, the General Meeting called on Nautilus to expand this campaign to improve pay for all maritime professionals.

The motion also:
• asked the Union to continue to seek enhancements to the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 as amended and to secure much-needed improvements to living and working conditions for seafarers
• called upon the Union to continue to campaign for fair pay, and good terms and conditions for members including the implementation of legislation which sets minimum wages in national waters
• recommended that Nautilus conducts further research among members to identify the most important issues that negatively affect recruitment and retention of skilled and experienced maritime professionals, including the standards of living and working conditions onboard
• called for a strategic approach to collective negotiations with companies, prioritising action to address the problems identified by members

Having been proposed by Mark Dickinson, the motion was seconded by Nautilus member Matthew Spencer, who said he very much hoped it would succeed.

The Fair pay at sea motion was passed by a majority of full Nautilus members voting at the meeting. There was one vote against and one abstention. The motion now becomes a resolution mandating the Union to adopt the measures above as Union policy.


Become a Nautilus member today