How happy about wages/salary?

  • 6.48 up from 6.45

The question of wages saw a small increase this time and again seemed to be driven in part by relief by those who were still earning in this difficult time. A number of responses were around the argument that they felt “lucky to have a job with any money coming in”. Not that it sounds like a ringing endorsement for the industry, but those still able to earn are extremely relieved to be doing so.

There was also some comparison made to conditions in the home countries of many respondents, and again where seafarers were earning they felt very much better off than places where jobs have been lost and companies have closed. In tough times the concept of “better off” becomes somewhat skewed.

GLAD TO BE EARNING

While there were many positive responses, where crew felt wage levels were good, and in which they expressed their gratitude to be earning, there were many more negative views. Especially once more from seafarers who were unable to work currently, and who are beginning to feel intense financial pressures. “How can I carry on and provide for my family if I cannot go to sea?”, ran one response which captured a prevailing mood.

Away from the issue of COVID, and back to the equation of effort / reward, then we did see some signs of tension creeping in. This tied in with the issue of workload, and those who reported low results and dissatisfaction on the level or work demanded of them, then unsurprisingly, they were also less happy when it came to wage levels.

This seemed most keenly felt in the junior officer ranks. The impact of “Less manpower and much wage reduction for junior officers” was voiced, and a sense that the job market was flooded with certain ranks, thereby driving opportunities and wages levels down.

RISING COSTS

As we have heard before, the rising costs of living and taxation in certain nations have had a major impact. While it has become the norm to hear from the likes of India and The Philippines in this regard, we did actually have seafarers from Canada voicing very similar concerns. Which is something we should monitor and assess whether this is due to COVID related costs, or a widening of the wage gap between ship and shore.

We also received some extremely disgruntled comments, responses in which seafarers felt that they “deserve more for the ____ I put up with”, though the respondent did not elaborate further. However, the robust language suggests that not all is well.

CASH OR FREEDOM?

One comment also caught the attention, and that was the “money doesn’t mean anything when we are losing our freedom”. This was in response to the extended contracts that many crew are having to work, with no idea of when they will get back home.

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