The government has pledged to review the pay of 2,400 seafarers as it cautioned their union members against disagreements.
Maritime principal secretary Nancy Karigithu said a strong union was paramount for the seafarers success.
“Under the laws of Kenya, you must have one union. This is something we grappled with a lot when I was at the Kenya Maritime Authority. So we must speak with one voice because that is how we will be respected," she said during World Maritime Day celebrations at Mama Ngina Grounds in Mombasa.
Ms Karigithu warned the seafarers against creating divisions among themselves saying they will drag down the sector. She noted the government is working on a collective bargaining agreement for the seafarers.
“Recently, we started working on a CBA for seafarers which we have not had for almost 25 years. We must learn to forget our minor differences and look at the national interest, “she said.
Ms Karigithu said the government is engaging companies that will offer employment to the seafarers.
Seafarers Union of Kenya chairman Daudi Hajj called on members to respect the union.
“We must work together so that we don’t always blame the government,” Mr Hajj said, adding he represents all the seafarers and speaks on behalf of them.
He said there are 2,400 seafarers, 600 of whom are trained. Stakeholders also marked the 7th year anniversary of Kenya being admitted into International Maritime Organisation. Trained seafarers can now obtain jobs anywhere in the world.