Govt promises to set minimum pay for seafarers

Paul Maringa, the Principal Secretary, Ministry of Transport. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Paul Maringa, the Principal Secretary, Ministry of Transport. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The Transport and Infrastructure Ministry will establish minimum wages for seafarers to ensure that they are well remunerated, Principal Secretary Prof Paul Maringa has said Tuesday.

Prof Maringa noted that Kenyan seafarers were paid low salaries compared to their international counterparts, saying it was largely because the government had not set their minimum pay.

“In close collaboration with the Ministry of Labour, we are seeking to establish a wage standard and regulations minimum for Kenyan seafarers. All this will enable us meet our obligations under the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) 2006 that sets the minimum working and living standards for all seafarers,” he said.

“This further seeks to set fair competition and a level-playing field for quality owners of ships flying the flags of countries that have ratified the convention,” he added.

The PS spoke today at PrideInn Beach Resort in Mombasa during this year’s World Maritime Day celebrations organised by the Kenya Maritime Authority (KMA).

KMA director general, Cosmas Cherop, reiterated the Authority’s role in ensuring that Kenyan seamen were treated fairly.

“KMA is mandated among other functions, to oversee training, recruitment and welfare of the seafarers. We believe that working together with the social partners is key in realizing the objective of developing maritime labour for the international market,” he said.

Other stakeholders represented during the celebrations were the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA), Kenya National Shipping Line (KNSL) and the Seafarers Union of Kenya (SUK).