Seamen's House

Jan van der Doe
Berichten: 1377
Lid geworden op: vr 09 jan 2009, 14:19
Locatie: Fergus, ON. Canada

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Sailors to enjoy better working rights

China’s ratification of the 2006 Maritime Labour Convention will improve conditions in the world’s third-largest
merchant fleet and attract more people into the industry.n 2001, when Zhao Changyou became a merchant sailor at
age 25, the first job he was given was scrubbing the greasy floor of a cargo ship’s engine room.The noise was
deafening, and the temperature was usually higher than 40 C. Away from his job, there was no bathroom in the cabin
he shared with another sailor. Working conditions have improved greatly in the past 15 years, according to Zhao, who
is now chief engineer on an oceangoing freighter. “At least every member of the crew has their own cabin,” he
said.Despite recent improvements, the working environment is still tough.Having recently returned after a two-month
voyage in the Pacific, Zhao said his family, in East China’s Anhui province, complained that he spoke too loudly, as if
he was shouting at them, but without noticing“I am used to shouting when working in the noisy engine room, and the
noise may have caused some hearing loss, even though I wear earplugs,” he said. “Mariners’ living and working
conditions still need to be improved, or people will leave an industry that is very important to the national economy.”
Seafarers’ Bill of RightsLast month, China formally completed its ratification of the 2006 Maritime Labour Convention,
also known as the Seafarers’ Bill of Rights, designed to promote greater adherence to employment law in the shipping
industry. Established by the International Labour Organization, the convention sets minimum requirements for almost
every aspect of working conditions at sea, including terms of employment, hours of work and rest, accommodation,
recreational facilities, food and catering, health protection, medical care, welfare provision and social security
protection.When the convention comes into force in China on Nov 12, 2016, sailors serving on merchant ships flying
the Chinese flag will be guaranteed standard working conditions.“Welfare standards for seafarers must be safeguarded
by legislation,” said Yu Hongjiang, consultative director at the Maritime Safety Administration. “Many Chinese seafarers
sign up for temporary contracts with few benefits,” he said, adding that few mariners have health
insurance.Furthermore, wage arrears are commonplace, and it’s not unusual for companies to hold salaries back for
three to four months. In some cases Yu has studied, the sailors were forced to wait more than two years to receive
wages they were owed, despite repeated protests to the shipowners and maritime officials. According to Yu, when a
mariner signs a five-month contract, the employer will usually pay a percentage of his wage at the start, usually 50 or
30 percent, but when the contract ends, it’s highly likely that the employee will not receive the remainder of his
payment.The situation gets worse if an occupational injury occurs. “The risk of injury or even death is high when
working on the open ocean. Employers definitely don’t want to pay for cover, and if the sailors don’t have insurance,
they have to pay all the costs themselves,” he said. “Of course they can sue, but it takes years, and even more money,
to get a result.”The decline of the shipping industry since the 2008 global economic crisis has placed shipowners under
even more pressure, he said“Let’s say hiring a sailor costs 10,000 yuan ($1,500) a month. If the sailor asks for
benefits and insurance, it pushes the cost up to 40,000 or 50,000 yuan a month, so the shipowners will try anything to
avoid paying for insurance,” he said.The convention will ensure decent working and living conditions for sailors, and
will also protect shipowners who provide decent working conditions for their employees from unfair competition from
substandard operators, he said. China is one of the most important maritime nations in the world, with the thirdlargest
merchant fleet and the biggest number of seafarers-620,000, one-third of the global total.“The ratification of
the convention is not only a prerequisite for the Chinese shipping industry, it’s also critical for the industry worldwide,
and even more important for the global economy,” Yu said.Since 2010, China Ocean Shipping (Group) Co, the
country’s largest global shipping business, has made efforts to keep in step with international labor standards.After
launching a pilot project on one of its cargo ships in 2010, COSCO imposed the convention’s standards on all its
vessels in 2013.Inspections are much more detailed for uncertified ships, and a “no more favorable treatment” clause
in the convention is designed to ensure that the ship has complied with the convention’s provisions.In that way, the
convention also applies indirectly to ships of non-member countries if they plan to call at ports owned by a member
state, according to Jia Guangchao, a human resources manager at COSCO.“We were determined to meet the standard
anyway. So, since the very beginning, COSCO has invested a lot to implement the convention,” he said.COSCO
believes that experienced, motivated sailors are among the most important resources for shipping companies, so they
deserve decent working conditions and welfare provision.“We give a dozen seafarers a ship and cargo worth a
combined $1 bill-ion and let them take it out on the ocean. We have to trust them. We have to build a strong
connection with them by providing good jobs and careers they can be proud of,” he said, adding that fewer people are
willing to work as sailors now.In 1993, when Jia made his first voyage, as a young officer on a cargo ship, he earned
more than 2,000 yuan a month, an enviable sum at a time when the average monthly income in Beijing was no more
than 1,000 yuan.Now, though, the monthly salary of an ordinary mariner ranges from 10,000 to 20,000 yuan, little
higher than white collar workers in big cities, he said.“When I was studying navigation in Dalian (Liaoning province), I
had classmates from big cities such as Beijing and Shanghai, but now few people from those cities join the shipping
industry,” he said. “Even among students who study related majors, 10 percent abandon maritime work after their first
voyage.” Liu Yue, a 39-year-old freighter captain, said that when he joined the industry 18 years ago, his friends in his
hometown in Jiangsu province all envied him because his salary was five times higher than theirs, and he was able to
travel overseas, which was still a luxury for most Chinese.“Now, many young sailors on my ship are thinking about
quitting. I’m disappointed, but I understand. Working on the ocean is tough and now the income has fallen, they have
more choices on land,” he said.“I hope the convention will improve working and living conditions and make being a
mariner a respectable profession.

”Source: China Daily
Hartelijke Groet/Kind regards.

Jan van der Doe.

Varen is noodzakelijk, leven niet.
Jan van der Doe
Berichten: 1377
Lid geworden op: vr 09 jan 2009, 14:19
Locatie: Fergus, ON. Canada

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Crewing on a cruise ship: hard work, pleasant
surroundings
by Tim Kern
Being on a crew on a huge modern cruise ship isn't a "Love Boat" experience.
Being on a crew on a huge modern cruise ship isn’t a “Love Boat” experience. Modern ships are much nicer than
the one we saw on television nearly 40 years ago, but the work is hard, handling everything with a smile and
efficiency, all day, every day.
Clearly in command of the position, Pierre Camillieri, from Malta, ran the “passenger side” of 2015’s flagship, Carnival
Breeze, coordinating 1411 employees of 61 nationalities and nine religions, with all that entails. “I think we [Carnival
Cruise Lines] should run the United Nations,” he said. “Living and working onboard is not easy.” Neither is recruiting
and retaining crews that are together, thousands of miles from home, 24/7, for months at a time, who work closely
together to give the 3000+ customers (none of whom has any previous or future relationship with them) a great time.
(By the end of our interview, I wanted him in charge of the UN. Or the world.)

Employees are tested for English mastery – a common language is essential, and nearly all passengers on Breeze
routes speak English. 98% of the passengers were from North America; in the summer, it drops to 92%. On our own
cruise, in mid-January and with school in session, theship is quiet. Only 59 passengers were 12 years old or younger
(and three of them were in our party).Shipboard work is demanding, and crew earn two months’ shore leave after
six months aboard (for officers, it’s two after four). “After a long time on ship, we want them to have time to relax and
have nothing to dowith the job,” Camillieri said. Carnival flies them home and back, anywhere in the world. Their
most-common activity at home is building oradding to a house. “They can schedule their vacations,” he says, “within
some guidelines; and we have some exceptions, too, for finishing a house or a college degree…”
“We give our crew members the chance to make their dreams come true,” says Camillieri. “We have 15 ports in eight
countries. They get lots ofexposure, not just to the ports of call, but on vacations — many spendtheir time in the US or
Australia. And they see a variety of passengers,as well.”
Crew members are officially scheduled to work 7-10 hours a day, but every crewman I interviewed, in many different
areas of the ship, rarely worked fewer than 10; often 12 hours or more. The offsets include five meals a day (plus a
tea and a buffet); couples can work on the same ship, and may get one of a limited number of couples’ cabins. Crew
are bunked two to a room, by sex, nationality, and department; roommate requests are honored.
It’s not surprising that the average age of Camilieri’s crew is 25 (officers average 36), with members ranging from 19
to 65; the oldestare in the engine room, where years of experience are worth big bucks, as the V-6 diesels must run
day and night, flawlessly.
The ship has a Crew Activity Committee; the crews plan the meals within wide guidelines (and one of the hot tips is to
find out whichnationality predominates on a given ship, and make sure you order that nationality’s specialty at dinner
time!).
Though the pay is terrible by U.S. standards (and American workers don’t adjust well to the pace), it’s is good on a
worldwide basis; openings are readily filled, with preference to those with on-board references. And tips – “merit pay”
– can exceed salaries.A Balinese, on his first tour with Carnival, answered my question about the apparent segregation
of American workers. “Americans work in other parts of the ship, because of the way they are paid. They are paid
differently. They get overtime. We all have ten-hour shifts, but if an American works overtime, he gets paid overtime.
Not the rest of us. We work overtime all the time, and don’t ever get paid overtime. That’s why you never see
Americans on [food service] jobs. Indonesians, Indians, South Americans, Philippinos, eastern Europeans, other
Europeanssometimes; Russians – but Americans are always in the other jobs.”
We talked with many crew members, and heard first hand how much they loved the work. And how hard it is. A 31-
year-old man makes $47 base a month; he lives on tips. “I signed up for 10 hours a day, but it’s always more. If I
were still on Bali, I would be working in a hotel orfood service.” Without tourism, “There is nothing to do for a job”
there.“I like working here. It’s good money. I would like to go to school, but I am home only two months at a time, so
I cannot take a course. I could take courses on line, but on the ship there is no time.”
The “no time” mantra was repeated among nearly all the crew I interviewed. My dinner waiter told me about a typical
day at sea: he finished serving about 11p.m., and then had his own dinner. In his bunkat 1a.m., and up at 6. I saw
him at breakfast about 7:30. After breakfast, he grabbed another two hours of sleep; then lunch; then another nap. “I
don’t mind; it’s plenty of sleep. But it took a while to get into the routine. And when we are ashore, or especially when
the ship is in port, everything is different.” Camillieri confirmed that, and added that returning workers “take about
ten days to get back into the shipboard routine.”
Crew cabins are three by four meters, for 2 people, with a private bath– the same size as many passenger cabins;
there is one desk/table. Wi-fi is available to crew at cost. “Nothing is free except our food and ourroom. A uniform is
$200-300, depending on which one.” They buy their own uniforms, which always appeared spotless.
The hardest part of the food-service job, we were told by management and staff alike, was lifting, balancing, and
carrying the maximum-allowed 12 plates. “We train them on the lift,” he said. “We need our crew! ”Rocque, or
“Rocky,” from Bombay (he didn’t call it “Mumbai”) has been a Carnival bartender for 29 years. “I like people,” he says.
“And I meetthe most interesting people, from all over the world. After this muchtime on ships, I am completely used to
the schedule. It is hard, for newpeople [employees] sometimes, but not for me.”Another crewman said, “If a worker
wants to go ashore on his own free time, it comes from allotted sleep time. Really, all other hours are for work –
officially or unofficially, it’s all the same: you’re sleeping or you’re working. Contracts are for 10 hours/day; you work
much more.”Crew are rarely off-station. There is clinic and doctor on board, but, “If you’re sick, you go to the ship’s
medic who says you’re OK and sends you back to work.But! It was apparent to me that the longer they work for
Carnival or in the industry, the happier they are with their jobs. Regardless, everyone– everyone, old and new, even
those quoted above – puts on a happy and helpful face.A young Indonesian crewman said he has worked for Carnival
for five years; he was two months into this tour. “If I were back on Java, I would work in a hotel and make $200-300
Hartelijke Groet/Kind regards.

Jan van der Doe.

Varen is noodzakelijk, leven niet.
Jan van der Doe
Berichten: 1377
Lid geworden op: vr 09 jan 2009, 14:19
Locatie: Fergus, ON. Canada

Re: Seamen's House

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Afbeelding

from: Maasmond Maritime - Shipping News Clippings
Hartelijke Groet/Kind regards.

Jan van der Doe.

Varen is noodzakelijk, leven niet.
Jan van der Doe
Berichten: 1377
Lid geworden op: vr 09 jan 2009, 14:19
Locatie: Fergus, ON. Canada

Re: Seamen's House

Bericht door Jan van der Doe »

Afbeelding

uit: Maasmond Maritime - Shipping News Clippings.
Hartelijke Groet/Kind regards.

Jan van der Doe.

Varen is noodzakelijk, leven niet.
Jan van der Doe
Berichten: 1377
Lid geworden op: vr 09 jan 2009, 14:19
Locatie: Fergus, ON. Canada

Re: Seamen's House

Bericht door Jan van der Doe »

Seafarers’ mission “horrified” at anti-piracy convictions

The international Anglican mission agency which supports seafarers through missions in 260 ports around the world, has spoken out against the conviction of 35 crewmen of the anti-piracy ship MV Seaman Guard Ohio (SGO) by a court in India. The 10 crew and 25 guards have been sentenced to five years in an Indian prison for carrying illegal arms; but the Mission to Seafarers say that the crew were entitled to do so under international law.

“I am horrified and filled with anguish at this decision which is deeply unfair and unjust,” Mission to Seafarers’ director of justice and public affairs, Ken Peters, said. “These men are seafarers but it seems the court did not accept the basic fact that the ship was and is an anti-piracy vessel.

“The men carried arms in accordance with international maritime law for the purpose of ensuring the merchant fleet was protected properly from the very real risk of pirate attacks and hijack. The men have already suffered so much so this is a terrible outcome. It is beyond belief.”

Mission to Seafarers (MtS) has been supporting some of the crew and their families and say that “The men and families are deeply shocked and devastated at this decision and are stunned that the evidence has not irrefutably proven that the men were acting legally under international maritime law.

“The SGO is an anti-piracy support ship that carries crew and guards to protect merchant shipping.”

Mr Peters added that “We understand that the men's defence team are examining the possibility of an appeal.”

The crew were convicted of carrying illegal arms, illegal refuelling and unlawfully entering Indian waters off the coast of Tuticorin on 18 October 2013. They have been held in India ever since and have vehemently protested their innocence.

Bron: ACNS / Anglican News
Hartelijke Groet/Kind regards.

Jan van der Doe.

Varen is noodzakelijk, leven niet.
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