Skip to main content

Unions and owners agree to increase minimum wage rates

21 November 2018

Nautilus general secretary Mark Dickinson has welcomed the outcome of top-level talks on the international minimum wage for seafarers.

Mr Dickinson led the seafarers' side in the two days of negotiations between the International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) and the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) at the International Labour Organisation's joint maritime committee.

The meeting agreed to update the minimum wage for an able seafarer by US$27 over the next three years, to provide an overall increase of 4.5% on the current rate of $614. There will be an increase of $4 as of 1 July 2019, followed by an increase of $7 as of 1 January 2020 and a final increase of $16 as of 1 January 2021.

'This was a difficult negotiation with two very different assessments about what the future holds for shipping and seafarers,' said Mr Dickinson.

'We started slowly but gained momentum as the parties exchanged opinions and provided arguments to support their positions,' he added. 'There was strong opposition from the shipowners' side for a significant increase. However, I am pleased that at the end pragmatism and common sense prevailed and the social partners worked their way forward to recognise the fundamental role seafarers play within the industry.

'The principles of social dialogue, which is the basis of a more efficient, fair and progressive industry, were once again demonstrated by the unity of the maritime industry in securing an outcome which was acceptable by all parties,' he added. 'it is an example the social partners should be pleased with.'

Shipowners' group spokesperson Max Johns commented: 'Following active discussions on the current difficult challenges facing our industry, and the importance of preserving future employment for seafarers, I am very pleased to advise that we were able to work together to come to an acceptable result for both parties.'             


Become a Nautilus member today