Kenyan Government Receives Support for Seafarers’ Wages Council

Ship owners and shipping agents support the government's plan to establish a Seafarers' wages council, aiming to improve terms and conditions for Kenyan seafarers. The proposed council will include representatives from COTU, FKE, KMA, and the Ministry of Labour, following consultative meetings with various stakeholders in the industry.
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The Kenyan government’s plan to establish a Seafarers’ wages council has received support from ship owners and shipping agents, with the aim of improving terms and working conditions for Kenyan seafarers. The proposed council will include representatives from COTU, Federation of Kenya Employers (FKE), the Kenya Maritime Authority (KMA), and the Ministry of Labour. The decision to establish the council followed consultative meetings led by the National Labour Board (NLA) and representatives from the maritime and shipping industry, including the Kenya Maritime Authority, International Trade Federation, and the Seafarers Union of Kenya.

The NLA board chair, David Siele, stated that there was merit and justification for the establishment of the council, following input from key industry stakeholders. A select committee appointed by the board held a two-day consultative meeting with ship owners and shipping agents, who expressed support for the establishment of the proposed Wages Council. They emphasized the need for a functional Wage Council to govern the sector and ensure better pay and working conditions for seafarers. The Institute of Chartered Ship Brokers also noted that a functional wage council would benefit both ship owners and seafarers by establishing agreed laws and regulations.

The Chair of the Select Committee, Areba Samba, thanked employers for their contributions and emphasized the collaborative nature of the effort to establish the Seafarers Wages Council. The goal is to ensure that the council incorporates the perspective of all relevant stakeholders and leads to a more productive workforce in the Kenyan maritime and shipping sector. Ultimately, the establishment of a fair and well-regulated maritime sector is expected to attract and retain skilled seafarers, enhancing Kenya’s maritime competitiveness on the global stage.

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