Today's edition of The Financial Times features a letter from AoS written by Director of Development, John Green in response to an article Shipping news is not so bright.
John was highlighting how the financial difficulties faced by ship owners and cost-cutting measures employed by them are also putting strains and stresses on seafarers and their families. AoS strives to lobby on behalf of seafarers and this letter should spread the word to a wider audience that may not have heard of us before. Here is what was printed.
From Mr John Green
Sir, in her letter (Shipping news is not so bright, January 17) Kirsten Kaarre Jensen notes the excess capacity of tonnage in shipping following vast over-ordering during the pre-recession boom years. This oversupply of ships, as well as depressing rates and affecting ship owners’ costs, has dramatically affected the working lives of seafarers.
Since the recession began, the seafarers’ charity Apostleship of the Sea has seen large numbers of ships laid up and increases in the cases of non-payment of wages to seafarers as ship owners seek to control costs. Further issues for seafarers more difficult to measure have included a greater reluctance to complain against abuse and poor employment practices for fear of losing their next contract or being blacklisted.
While pent-up difficulties for ship owners caused by oversupply will take some years to improve, this should be no excuse for quietly ignoring the further stresses and strains this places on seafarers and ultimately their families. One glimmer of hope is the International Labour Organisation’s Maritime Labour Convention. This is progressively being implemented and should improve the social protection for seafarers.
John Green, Director of Development, Apostleship of the Sea
AoS has seen increases in the cases of non-payment of wages to seafarers.