ILO adopts new minimum monthly wage for seafarers

The mechanism for setting the minimum monthly wage for able seafarers is the only one in the International Labour Organization (ILO) that sets the basic wage for any industry.

GENEVA  – A Subcommittee of the Joint Maritime Commission (JMC) of the ILO has agreed on a Resolution raising the minimum monthly basic wage figure for able seafarers.

It increases from US$614 to US$618 as of 1 July 2019, US$625 as of 1 January 2020 and US$641 as of 1 January 2021, representing an overall increase of 4.5%.

This unique mechanism is included in the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (as amended), which provides that the basic pay or wages of an able seafarer for a calendar month of service should be no less than the amount periodically set by the JMC or another body authorized by the Governing Body of the ILO.

A Resolution concerning the ILO minimum monthly basic pay or wage figure for able seafarers, as adopted by the Commission and which sets out the new wage figures, will be submitted to the ILO Governing Body in early 2019.

The Maritime Labour Convention, known as the “seafarers’ bill of rights”, entered into force on 20 August 2013, and has been ratified by 89 ILO member States, representing over 91 per cent of world shipping tonnage.

The Joint Maritime Commission is the only permanent bipartite standing body of the ILO. It dates back to 1920, and is composed of shipowner and seafarer representatives from across the globe.

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