Most seafarers, I believe, have modest demands. They just want to earn an honest living and take care of their families with the least hassle possible. They don’t want to be treated like royalty or hailed as heroes on the annual Day of the Seafarer. Alas, what little they expect is often tossed overboard in a shipping world that is driven by the love of money.
Making seafarers happy and contented is actually not difficult. Here are 10 ways:
Put them only on seaworthy vessels that are fully compliant with the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS).
Provide them with nutritious, satisfying food on board.
Be sure that they are not overworked and that maximum work hours mandated under ILO Maritime Labour Convention, 2006, are observed.
Provide them with free, reliable wifi service on board.
Grant them shore leave as is their right.
Repatriate them without undue delay when they finish their contracts or when they are sick, etc.
Pay them decent wages.
Handle their remittances with utmost honesty and release the money to their designated allotees on time.
Expedite payment of their back wages and other rightful money claims instead of stonewalling them.
Always treat them with dignity and respect.
The last item on the list is probably the most important as it underpins all the rest. But it is easier said than done. How can seafarers be accorded dignity and respect when they have been commodified and their humanity diminished?
~ Barista Uno