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New agreement on the global minimum wage for seafarers

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SINGAPORE : Negotiations were held once again, between shipowners and seafarers’ unions from around the world, on the minimum wage of seafarers.

The negotiations were initiated by the UN International Labour Organization (ILO) and coordinated by the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), respectively.

The agreement applies universally to the rating grade of Able Seafarer and is widely recognised by the global shipping community as contributing to decent work and employment for seafarers, to support themselves and their families.

During the previous round of talks, which ended in September 2021, shipowners and seafarers set the minimum wage to US$648 as of July 1, 2022.

At the last round of negotiations, the social partners agreed to structure the new three-year agreement through annual increases, as follows:

US$658 as of January 1, 2023

US$666 as of January 1, 2024

US$673 as of January 1, 2025

Commenting on the outcome of the negotiations, Charles Darr (Swiss Shipowners’ Association), spokesperson for the shipowners group, said that “this new deal is a win-win for both shipowners and seafarers”.

Mark Dickinson (Nautilus International), spokesperson for the seafarers group stated that, “today’s agreement recognises 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”.

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