across the globe can look forward to higher wages as international bodies
reached an agreement on an overall increase of 4.5 percent of minimum wage for
an able seafarer.
Following two days of negotiations, the International Transport
Workers’ Federation (ITF) and the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS),
convened in Geneva at the Joint Maritime Commission (JMC) subcommittee on
seafarers wages to review the International Labour Organization (ILO)’s minimum
It has been agreed to update the minimum wage for an able
seafarer by USD 27 over the next three years. The wages will provide an overall
increase of 4.5 percent on the current rate of USD 614, with an increase of USD
4 as of July 1, 2019, followed by an increase of USD 7 as of January 1,
2020 and a final increase of USD 16 as of January 1, 2021.
The change was ascribed due to the calculation that the USD 614
wage was below the purchasing power stated in the ILO report prepared for the
meeting. This is in particular due to economic forecasts and the
volatility of the shipping industry.
“This was a difficult negotiation
with two very different assessments about what the future holds for shipping
and seafarers,” admitted Mark Dickinson,
spokesperson for the seafarers’ group.
“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
“We will continue to work together
to find ways to ensure that the ILO formula used as the basis for these
negotiations is fair and reflects the reality for seafarers, but the impact of
this session of the JMC negotiation on the global seafaring community is
undoubtedly a good and equitable result,” he