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Unions and employers agree on need for new seafarer 'social contract'

30 August 2023

Employers, unions and governments must cooperate to define a new social contract for seafarers, to secure recruitment and retention for the future of the maritime sector, a recent global summit heard.

The call came during a tripartite meeting in Manila in June of unions and ship owners, attended by Nautilus International general secretary Mark Dickinson.

Click to download a summary of the summit outcomes

Governments were encouraged to create investment and funding streams to address the challenges related to seafarer recruitment, retention and training −especially with regard to new skills required for a greener maritime industry.

Opportunities for seafarers to use their experience and qualification to transition to shore-based jobs must also be considered.

Policy makers should ensure benchmarking data is recorded to reflect the value of seafarers to national economies, the conference heard.

Lessons can be learned from the global response to the Coronavirus pandemic, which 'drastically changed the way the shipping industry collaborates'.

The positive message from the summit was that there is significant opportunity for all by working together, through social dialogue, to focus on the 'development of human infrastructure'.

Shaping the Future of Shipping Seafarer 2050 was hosted by the International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF), the International Chamber of Shipping, the International Maritime Employers' Council (IMEC) and the Filipino Shipping Association.


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