The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) and the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) have mediated an agreement on a new minimum wage for seafarers.
The decision was made following two days of negotiations at the Joint Maritime Commission (JMC) subcommittee on seafarers’ wages, which reviewed the International Labour Organization (ILO) Minimum Wage for an Able Seafarer (AB).
The minimum wage will increase by US$27 over the next three years, a 4.5% rise based on the current rate of $614.
According to a statement, the ITF and ICS were presented with the current consumer price change indices, as well as the fluctuation of the US dollar in certain countries, and agreed this would represent the basis for a recalculation of the minimum wage.
Recommendations made by the two social partners were also founded on the volatility of the shipping industry, the necessity to recognize seafarers’ commitment, and the requirement to agree fair and sustainable conditions of employment.
Mark Dickinson, a spokesperson for the seafarers’ group, commented: “This was a difficult negotiation with two very different assessments about what the future holds for shipping and seafarers.
Geneva – ICS Secretary General, Guy Platten, meets ILO Director General, Guy Ryder pic.twitter.com/Gqr3SegaoX
— ICS shipping (@shippingics) November 20, 2018
“We started slowly but gained momentum as the parties exchanged opinions and provided arguments to support their positions. 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.”
Max Johns, the shipowners’ group spokesperson, also expressed his pleasure that the two parties were able to work together to achieve an acceptable result.