After tough negotiations, the International Labour Organization (ILO) raised the minimum seafarer salary to a monthly USD 641.

According to Xinde Marine News on November 22, there was an important meeting on the minimum salary for able seafarers this week in Geneva, organized by the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) and the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS).

Following two days of difficult negotiations, an agreement was reached on an increase of 4.5 percent of minimum salary for seafarers.

That is to say, all parties agreed to increase the minimum salary by USD 27 to USD 641 over the next three years.

“This was a difficult negotiation with two distinctively different assessments about shipping and seafarers”, admitted Mark Dickinson, the Seafarers’ Group spokesperson. “We started slowly but gained momentum as the parties exchanged opinions and provided the arguments to support their positions.”

“the ship-owners strongly oppose the salary hike. However, I am pleased that in the end pragmatism and common sense dominated and the all parties, due to the effort of the community, come to recognise the fundamental role seafarers play within the industry.”

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

Earlier this year, Nautilus International Union called for an increase of USD 50 of the minimum seafarers’ salary.