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Negotiators agree increase in ILO minimum seafarer wage

Written by Nick Blenkey
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NOVEMBER 21, 2018 — After two days of negotiations in Geneva between the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) and the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), the ILO minimum wage for an Able Seafarer (AB) is to be increased by $27 a month over the next three years.

According to a statement released by the parties, the wages will provide an overall increase of 4.5% on the current rate of $614, with an increase of $4 as of July 1, 2019, followed by an increase of $7 as of January 1, 2020 and a final increase of $16 as of January 1, 2021.

“This was a difficult negotiation with two very different assessments about what the future holds for shipping and seafarers,” said Mark Dickinson, the Seafarers’ Group spokesperson. “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 recognize the fundamental role seafarers play within the industry.”

Max Johns, the Shipowners’ Group spokesperson, said, “Following active discussions on the current difficult challenges facing our industry, and the importance of preserving future employment for seafarers, I am very pleased to advise that we were able to work together to come to an acceptable result for both parties”.

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