Ukrainian seafarers undercut the market with new low rating wage

Undercutting the crewing market in a big way, Ukrainian seafarer unions have struck a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) which will send shockwaves to the Philippines and India, the traditional manning. powerhouses

Major Ukrainian trade unions have joined forces and developed a new CBA with the lowest recommended wage for ratings starting from $1,085 a month. “The main aim of the new CBA is to find working places for Ukrainian seafarers, provide shipowners with skilled seamen and break the monopoly established in the Ukrainian maritime labour market,” a release from the unions read.

“The global economic crisis has forced shipping companies to hire ratings from India, China, the Philippines, Indonesia and other countries with a minimum wage of $1,100,” the release added.

The ITF’s minimum ratings wage stands at $1,806, far above the new level set out today.

A number of shipmanagers have already expressed an interest in hiring more Ukrainian crews, the release claimed.

Ukraine is the largest European source of seafarers, but is still a long way behind the Philippines and India in terms of numbers.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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