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Thousands of seafarer jobs on offer

An Agreement to be signed today (20) will provide thousands of jobs for young seafarers who have passed out from local marine academies and are currently without permanent employment, a trade unionist said on 18 July.

The Agreement is to be endorsed between the International Maritime Employers’ Committee and the local representative from the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) and local trade union affiliate the National Union of Seafarers Sri Lanka (NUSS).

“The Agreement between international ship owners and ITF will provide safe employment for thousands of Sri Lanka seafarer hopefuls, where the stipulated monthly wage for beginners will be $US 1,600 or (Rs 250,000) and nothing less,” President of the NUSS, Palitha Atukorale said. He added that with the agreement, employment in this sector will widen on the one hand, while the country will receive a substantial amount of foreign exchange on the other.

He also called on the Government to focus more on this sector which has been sidelined in the past.

At present, there is an estimated 17,000 registered Sri Lankan seafarers employed on foreign ships since the country does not own a single merchant vessel, Atukorale said.

He added the Agreement will not only endorse wages but will provide assurances on the well-being of seafarers when they are out at sea.
The ITF is an international body based in London that looks into the welfare of seafarers worldwide, while the NUSS is a trade union that sees to the welfare of locals employed in the industry.

(Ceylon Today)

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