Shipowners and the maritime labor unions agreed on a new three-year global minimum wage deal for seafarers

Credit: Photo 177809264 / Seamen © Denys Yelmanov |

The agreement which is a “safety net” deal in accordance with the labor unions is a “win-win deal for both shipowners and seafarers” as described by Mr. Charles Darr of the Swiss Shipowners’ Association and spokesperson of the shipowners group.

The UN International Labour Organization (ILO) once again convened the latest bipartite round of negotiations between shipowners and seafarers’ unions from across the world, coordinated by the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), respectively.

Under the terms of the new agreement, Able Seafarers will receive annual increases over the next three years. The agreement applies universally to the widely recognized rating grade of Able Seafarer as, in accordance with the unions, it is contributing to decent work and employment for seafarers, to support themselves and their families.

During the previous round of talks, which concluded at the UN ILO in September last year, shipowners and seafarers set the minimum wage at $648 per month from July 1, 2022.

The latest round of negotiations produced a new three-year deal through annual increases, starting at $658 on January 1 next year, followed by $666 on January 1 in 2024 and $673 on 1 January in 2025. Maritime transport is the only sector with a formally recognized global minimum wage, which has existed for seafarers since 1958.

Commenting on the outcome of the negotiations, Charles Darr (Swiss Shipowners’ Association), spokesperson for the shipowners group, said: “The global seafarer workforce is central to the safe and efficient flow of world trade, and they are among the unsung heroes of the pandemic. This new deal is a win-win for both shipowners and seafarers.

From his side, Mr. Mark Dickinson, the general secretary of Nautilus International, speaking for the seafarers’ group, said that “the agreement recognizes the huge sacrifices and professionalism of the men and women working at sea and is a testament to the collective milestones the social partnership between seafarers and shipowners have historically achieved. Especially over the past few years.”

Source: International Chamber of Shipping

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