Nigerian seafarers to benefit from global salary benchmarking

By Foster Obi

There are indications that new times await Nigerian seafarers if the global new salary benchmarking survey currently carried out by Spinnaker Global gets underway. Spinnaker Global’s HR Consulting division has been collecting and analysing salary data since 2005 for shore-based roles in the global maritime industry which will be launched in 2017.

This initiative according investigations is driven by demand from members of the Maritime HR Association who already benchmark compensation data for their shore-based roles.

While members are aware through Maritime HR Association data analysis what they should be paying superintendents, operations, chartering and new building staff, HR Consulting also wants to ensure that reliable benchmarking is available for seagoing personnel.

Members of the association believe that Spinnaker’s reputation as an international research firm and as a trusted third party when it comes to securely managing confidential data is something not in doubt and seem paramount in this new project too, which will provide global ship owners with industry benchmarks that enable them to attract and retain staff and pay them competitively, while giving their boards the assurance that they are controlling costs.  Spinnaker Global are currently gathering participants for this new initiative.

Nigerian Seafarer feels they have been highly short changed. Recently seafarers of the NLNG Ship Management Limited (NSML), which is a subsidiary of the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) decried a proposed 50 per cent slash in their salary by the management.

They held that their outcry was in reaction to the mail signed by the Crewing Manager on behalf of NSML management requiring Nigerian seafarers to sign and comply with a proposed 50 per cent salary cut within seven days or risk losing their jobs.

The salary slash was billed to take effect from September 1, 2016.  The seafarers condemned the manner the information was conveyed to them without proper consultation, and noted that the move was partial, unjust and inhumane.

The seafarer’s basis for disagreement was because seafarers of other nationalities including Indians, Malaysians, Pakistanis, Russians, Croatians, among others are also challenging the 20 per cent wage cut levied on them by NSML management.

While wondering why Nigerian seafarers should earn lower than their foreign colleagues, they argued that NLNG management’s proposal amounted to modern day slavery.

They called on the Federal Government to intervene and put an end to the unjust proposed wage cut which could kill dreams of achieving the Nigerianisation plan which is committed to ensure that Nigerian seafarers engaged are well represented on board BGT and NLNG Chartered Vessels.

They expressed deep concern that the NSML is taking the way of the defunct Nigerian National Shipping Line (NNSL), stressing that that something should to be done to stop this journey to disaster.

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