A 4.5% pay rise over two years for seafarers has been agreed by employers and the unions.
The International Bargaining Forum (IBF), which comprises the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) representing seafarers, and the Joint Negotiating Group (JNG) representing employers, met on 1 – 3 September and agreed wage increases for seafarers in 2022 and 2023.
A 3% increase in wages and compensations was agreed from 1 January 2022, and 1.5% increase from 1 January 2023.
An increase in JNG members’ rebate from the ITF Welfare Fund to 20% to contribute to the IBF Seafarers Support Fund was also agreed.
The increase in wages in 2022 and 2023 for international seafarers working aboard vessels flying the flag of an open register designated as flag of convenience by the ITF follows no wage increase in 2021 as negotiations in March 2020 were deferred due to the pandemic.
The new agreement was seen by both sides as recognising the sacrifices made by seafarers during the pandemic who in many cases were unable to return home when contracts expired.
ITF Seafarers’ Section Chair David Heindel commented: “From the initial risk the pandemic posed to seafarers, to the ongoing challenge of seafarers sometimes being denied emergency medical treatment by port states, to the global scandal that is the crew change crisis: through the last 18 months seafarers have shown exceptional professionalism and commitment.
“Therefore, we are proud we have managed to deliver increases to seafarers’ income. Their daily sacrifices to keep supply chains moving, delivering the goods critical to our recovery to billions of consumers and businesses is recognised.”
Representing the JNG , Captain Belal Ahmed said: “Employers in the maritime industry, the shipowners, the management agents: the difficult and stormy waters of this pandemic have brought us closer to the crew. We see the sacrifices they have made, and, where within our means as businesses committed to being around in the future: we have endeavoured to recognise the seafarers’ efforts.”