The International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) and the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) have agreed to update the minimum monthly wage for an able seafarer by $27 over the next three years. Before this agreement the global minimum wage was US@614 per month based on a 48 hour working week.

The decision following two days of negotiations, was reached at the Joint Maritime Commission Subcommittee on Seafarers Wages to review the ILO Minimum Wage for an Able Seafarer (AB) provided for in Code B of the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (as amended) which was held in Geneva.

The wages will provide an overall increase of 4.5 percent on the current rate of $614, with an increase of $4 as of 1st July 2019, followed by an increase of $7 as of 1st January 2020 and a final increase of $16 as of 1st January 2021.


Commenting on the occasion, Mark Dickinson, the Seafarers’ Group spokesperson, informed that there was strong opposition from the shipowners side for a significant increase.

Mr Dickinson added: “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.”

Max Johns, the shipowners’ group spokesperson, explained that 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.


One has to question whether this has gone far enough. Seafarers face a difficult and often dangerous career and the financial rewards seem very small or their efforts.


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