During the latest bipartite round of negotiations between shipowners and seafarers’ unions, coordinated by the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), the two parties agreed on a new global minimum wage.
ore specifically, at the latest round of negotiations, the social partners agreed to structure the new 3-year deal through annual increases, up to $673, from 1 January 2023 to 1 January 2025, as follows:
- $658 as of 1 January 2023
- $666 as of 1 January 2024
- $673 as of 1 January 2025
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, recognising that the overall well-being of seafarers is inextricably linked to their economic well-being.
During the previous round of talks, concluded at the UN ILO in September last year, shipowners and seafarers set the minimum wage to $648 from 1July 2022.
Commenting on the outcome of the negotiations, Charles Darr (Swiss Shipowners’ Association), Spokesperson for the shipowners group, said:
The global seafarer workforce is central to the safe and efficient flow of world trade, and they are among the unsung heroes of the pandemic. This new deal is a win-win for both shipowners and seafarers
The new deal is believed to strike a balance between rewarding seafarers for their contributions to the global economy and ensures, at the same time, that shipping companies are able to remain sustainable and commercially viable, in light of the many challenges we are currently facing and those that lie ahead, Mr. Darr added.
What is more, Mark Dickinson (Nautilus International), Spokesperson for the seafarers group, mentioned:
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
Last year, talks to increase the minimum wage for seafarers at the International Labour Organization (ILO) had broken down. Namely, industry shipowners, representing the cruise and transport sectors, put forward a three-year deal to increase the basic minimum wage for seafarers. The offer represented a 3% increase for seafarers across the world.
The seafarers’ unions did not accept the offer made during two days of official talks at the ILO, which according to the ILO process means that able seafarers would not be entitled to a rise in the minimum wage for 2 years.