Maritime News

Seafarers Win Minimum Wage Increase

Seafarers secured a minimum wage increase following talks at the International Labour Organization recently.

ITF representatives met with maritime employer representatives from the International Shipping Federation (ISF) at the ILO.

The sub-committee on wages of seafarers of the joint maritime commission agreed to increase the ILO monthly minimum wage from US$ 585.00 to US$ 592.00 from January 1, 2015. On January 1, 2016, this will increase to US$ 614.00

Henrik Berlau, national secretary of Denmark’s Fagligt Faelles Forbund (3F), was one of the ITF representatives in attendance. He spoke on behalf of the ITF seafarers’ group during the two-day meeting. Berlau said that shipowners and the ILO had worked with the unions to reach this decision, further saying: “We believe this demonstrated the social partners’ commitment to the provisions of the MLC on the minimum wage”.

The MLC finally came into force in August 2013, after almost a decade of work by the ITF, shipping organizations, the ILO and governments worldwide.

ITF Activists Tackle HIV/AIDS on Cruise Ships

The first ever group of HIV resource persons/peer educators working on cruise ships vowed to strengthen and protect their friends and colleagues at a cruise ship seminar in Cebu, Philippines late February.

Eighty five (85) seafarers from across the world attended the seminar, run by the NSU (Norwegian Seafarers’ Union) in cooperation with the ITF, FIT-CISL (Federazione Italiana Transporti) and AMOSUP (The Associated Marine Officers’ and Seamen’s Union of the Philippines).

The seminars were launched eight years ago as a forum for seafarers to learn more about their rights and obligations at sea. They also provide an opportunity for seafarers to share experiences and learn from each other.

The HIV resource person/peer educator group will use the knowledge and experiences they gained in Cebu to spread awareness of HIV/AIDS issues among colleagues on board ships.

The seminars are now held in the Philippines, Indonesia, India and Jamaica. Organizers plan to create similar networks at forthcoming events in India, Indonesia and Jamaica.

Ciela Mae S. Roja, who works on the cruise ship Norwegian Breakaway, was one of the pioneer HIV resource peer educators. Speaking from the meeting, she said: “I want to spread the knowledge among my fellow workers, because HIV/AIDS is a reality. I think my intervention will help my fellow friends to be educated enough to take control of their lives and be safe.”

Also at the event was NSU president Jacqueline Smith who explained that the events were constantly evolving and that this group of HIV resource person/peer educators was another step in that evolution, and would improve seafarers’ lives.