Doing it for the Money

How happy about wages/salary?

  • 6.09 down from 6.57

Seafarers do not solely work for the money, there are a range of factors which make seafaring attractive, but it helps! That was the message from a range of respondents, as they highlighted the concerns that many have over the wages they receive.

As stated in the section on general levels of happiness and satisfaction, there is an immense sense of pride within seafarers that they are able to provide for their families. They work tirelessly in very challenging conditions to provide their families with all they need, from homes, to food and education. It is often the case that a seafarer’s focus is very often about home, and of what they are doing for their family.

So, in this sense, the issue of wages is hugely important. Unfortunately, the pressures which many seafarers feel translate negatively when they feel a sense of being undervalued or rewarded.

For the seafarers who feel happy with their wages, they reported a sense that when they get paid, all the memory of “hardships” disappear, and they are able to focus on the good that they money brings back home. The sense of seafarer as a vital bread winner, and a proud one at that.

Where there are problems, then they revolve often about an erosion of wage levels. Whether stagnation, exchange fluctuations or rising costs and taxation at home. Seafarers repeatedly stated that their wages seemed to be falling in real terms. There were also some issues relating to the way in which promotions affect payments, though these are likely to be company specific.

The issue of exchange rates was also raised in relation to the fees charged by some manning agents. Seafarers from nations which are required to submit remittances back home are often hit by dubious charges and confusing exchange rates. Something which impacts the money they are able to provide to their families.

Access the latest report here: https://www.happyatsea.org/wp-content/uploads/SHI_Q4_2019.pdf

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