Maritime transport is the only sector with a formally recognised global minimum wage, which has existed for seafarers since 1958. The shipowners and seafarers’ unions have agreed that the minimum wage will increase from USD 648 per 1 July 2022 to USD 673 by 1 January 2025.

The UN International Labour Organization (ILO) once again convened the latest bipartite round of negotiations between shipowners and seafarers’ unions from across the world, 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, 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 USD 648 from July 1 2022.

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Annual increases

At the latest round of negotiations, the social partners agreed to structure the new three-year deal through annual increases, up to USD 673, from January 1 2023 to January 1 2025, as follows:

  • USD 658 as of January 1 2023.
  • USD 666 as of January 1 2024.
  • USD 673 as of January 1 2025.

‘Rewarding seafarers while keeping companies commercially viable’

‘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,’ says Charles Darr (Swiss Shipowners’ Association), spokesperson for the shipowners group. ‘It strikes a balance between rewarding seafarers for their incredible 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.’

Mark Dickinson (Nautilus International), Spokesperson for the seafarers group, adds: ‘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. We look forward to continuing to work together alongside our social partners to safeguard financial stability for the world’s seafarers.’

Also read: Shortage of maritime officers to reach decade high by 2026

Picture by Laurahayes7751.