The Singapore Organisation of Seamen (SOS), an affiliate of the Nautilus Federation, is to set aside more than SGD1.5million to assist with crew changes in the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Seacare Hotel – owned by a cooperative founded by SOS – is one of two facilities designated by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore to accommodate crew who are unable to transfer directly to their vessel or flight and require a temporary rest area of up to 48 hours.
Located at Chin Swee Road alongside the Seacare Building where SOS is headquartered, the hotel is the first in Singapore to be owned by a cooperative. Seacare owns and co-owns 13 hotels in Singapore, Malaysia and the United Kingdom.
The equivalent of £866,000 (EUR960,000) set aside by SOS will help to defray the cost of accommodation and meals for seafarers staying at the Seacare Hotel.
Entitlements for companies participating in the Seacare Sailors' Home Scheme (which provides accommodation and services for the benefit of SOS members, international seafarers and the shipping community) will be doubled for the redemption of full board accommodation for their crew at the Seacare Hotel.
Seafarers working for shipping companies that do not have collective bargaining agreements with SOS, will receive three meals daily from the scheme while housed at the Seacare Hotel.
SOS president Kam Soon Huat said: 'Seacare, as a cooperative set up by a seafarers' union, knows what it takes to look after the welfare of seafarers. Seacare Hotel is a natural choice because the maritime industry knows that the hotel is for seafarers.
'We want to show our appreciation to seafarers who are essential frontline workers and encourage the shipping companies during these challenging times. The enhancement of the Seacare Sailors Home Scheme is our way of saying that we are in this together.
'We strongly encourage shipping companies to expedite crew changes and to take this opportunity to utilise the Seacare Hotel to accommodate the seafarers,' Mr Kam urged.
Coordinator of the Nautilus Federation Danny McGowan said: 'It is great to see that SOS is working with the Seacare Hotel to make it available to seafarers at this difficult time for the industry. We know that seafarers changing crew and using the Seacare Hotel will receive the best of care and attention during their stay.
'We remind seafarers that we've got their backs this crew change crisis and stand ready to work with anyone seeking to get our members home or back to work.'
Nautilus FAQs on Covid-19 Coronavirus
Nautilus proud to play its part in global mobilisation on crew changes
Nautilus Federation message to maritime professionals
Nautilus Federation message of support for maritime professionals
Singapore MPA circular 27
Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore circular 27 on crew change requirements to minimise the risk of coronavirus.
Netherlands top country for crew changes as repatriations grind to a halt
The Netherlands was the top country for successful crew changes in May, with Port of Rotterdam enabling more crew transits than any other worldwide, according to data from the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS).
Unions reach agreement with Singapore on pandemic crew relief
Seafarers stuck onboard in Singapore due to the Covid-19 pandemic have been given hope of relief, thanks to new official crew change guidelines agreed with Nautilus Federation unions.
Singapore seafarers' union helps provide relief during Covid-19 pandemic
Nautilus affiliate seafaring union the Singapore Organisation of Seamen (SOS) is helping provide a seafarer relief package (SRP) for members adversely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Deadline day: UN calls on all countries to immediately facilitate safe crew changes
The secretary general of the United Nations (UN) has called on all countries to formally designate seafarers and other marine personnel as key workers, to ensure that crew changes can safely take place.
Hong Kong relaxes crew change restrictions
Hong Kong has announced 'unrestricted' crew changes through the region's ports and airports in response to joint action from unions.