Seafarers to develop new guidelines
Posted Monday, July 9 2012 at 13:48
The Seafarers Solidarity Consultative Forum will developed new guidelines to reorganize and strengthen the seafarers Union in the country.
At a meeting at Koblenz Hall in Mombasa over the weekend and attended by stakeholders, it was unanimously agreed that the Seafarers Union of Kenya (SUK) was not providing effective representation.
Stakeholders were told poor leadership and constant wrangles contributed to the failure and collapse of the Union in the delivery of their mandate on the workers welfare.
Chairman Seafarer’s Solidarity Consultative Forum Daudi Haji said they would bring reforms by reviewing the constitution so that it will effectively fight for the interests of Kenyan Seafarers.
To strengthen the Union, Mr Haji said the Forum was working to address and empower the Seafarers union that were employed to work in foreign countries and locally.
“We want to bring a new leadership style and not lock out majority of the seafarer’s out of the Union, “he said adding that the SUK existed in registration but was not vibrant to address the plights of the seafarers.
The Forum Secretary Andrew Mwangura said the lobby was working with International Transport Federation (ITF), the government, Kenya Maritime Authority (KMA), Dock workers Union within the legal framework of an organized, functioning and democratic union.
Mr Mwangura said that the entire stakeholders and seafarers fraternity were in support of the work of Seafarers Solidarity Consultative Forum and there was no way that their resolve will not be achieved.
“At the moment, seafarer’s are have no union since SUK was suspended by ITF due to undemocratic and bad leadership.
This has led to loss of training and employment opportunities to seafarers who continue to be vulnerable, he added.
On the former union (SUK), Mr Mwangura claimed that ship owners and contractors were in control and were against a strong Union.
In the Forum, it was agreed that a review the Union’s constitution as it is, is not in conformity with the country’s constitution and must therefore be amended to make it relevant and serve the interests of seafarers well and without discrimination.