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An Introduction from our General Secretary

General Secretary

The maritime industry is a global business, with a global labour market and it needs a global union to represent the professionals who make it work.

Since the last Nautilus General Meeting, in 2015, the Union has staged a series of high-level, successful campaigns for members, to protect jobs, skills and the future of the shipping industry in the face of extremely challenging market conditions, rapid and intense change and dramatic advances in technology, digitalisation and automation.

This report, produced for our 2019 General Meeting and approved by the Council, reflects on the strategic objectives and measures set out in our ongoing Strategic Plan and provides details of the work that has been done across the Union’s specialist divisions to deliver for our members over the past four years.

Since 2015, we have worked tirelessly to protect and improve our members’ jobs and working conditions at a time of drastic downturn in many sectors. We have ensured that the industry continues to be regulated properly, exposing poor employment practices and promoting decent work, as well as helping to secure significant improvements in the Maritime Labour Convention. And we have worked hard within the International Maritime Organization and the International Labour Organization to safeguard our members’ health,safety and welfare, wherever their jobs may take them.

We have supported members in the face of a constantly changing global environment and have protected members at risk of criminalisation through our unrivalled global network of specialist legal support and our work to secure fair treatment for all seafarers.

We have campaigned effectively for policy changes on a global, European and national level, and for increased investment in the sector from government and industry to deliver a sustainable future for all. And we have helped to secure improved support for the training of the desperately needed new generation of maritime professionals.

As General Secretary, my focus for the past four years has been:

  • Delivering on the agreed strategic objectives

  • Expanding membership services

  • Strengthening our organising and strategic campaigning work

  • Enhancing our industrial, professional and legal work on behalf of members

  • Increasing our global cooperation with like-minded maritime unions

  • Improving communications and exploiting digital information opportunities

  • Fighting discrimination and promoting equality of opportunity

  • Protecting and enhancing the Union’s long democratic traditions

Now we look to the future and the challenges we will face to ensure our successes continue. The maritime industry is being transformed by technology and whilst we are ready to embrace the change, we must consider the impact on jobs and training opportunities to ensure our members are protected and supported.

We are constantly looking at the expectations of the new generation of maritime professionals and ensuring that Nautilus continues to provide valuable, relevant and important services for all new recruits. We also work to ensure that members continue to benefit from the international partnerships and relationships we have established with our colleagues and good friends at the International Transport Workers’ Federation, the European Transport Workers’ Federation, the International Federation of Shipmasters’ Associations, and of course the Nautilus Federation.

In a time of constant change, it’s more important than ever to unite. We are stronger together and we will continue to make a real difference for maritime professionals in the Netherlands, Switzerland and the UK and across the globe wherever our members work.

I sincerely thank you for your continued support and cooperation and commend this report on behalf of the Council to the General Meeting.

Mark Dickinson
General Secretary, Nautilus International