Chair of the Nautilus International Council
Introduction from the Chair of the Nautilus International Council
I am honoured and privileged to have been Chair of the Council for the past four years and to welcome everyone to the 2019 General Meeting in Rotterdam.
It has not been a quiet time for Nautilus and our members. With Brexit uncertainty, the job losses in the oil industry and ongoing criminalisation of maritime professionals, to name but a few issues, our members and the General Secretary with his staff have been under constant fire.
Still, for me, Nautilus has been a shining light in the developing darkness of the world. Despite becoming an international union in 2009, representing diverse views and backgrounds, it was heartening to see that the Council’s decision to indicate for Remain in the EU referendum was made unanimously. The general lies, hatred and racism spread by many senior politicians did not fall on fertile ground here.
I consider Nautilus membership a must for every maritime and shipping professional.
Nautilus, of course, supported our members who faced losing their jobs. When part of the industry closes down it is not under Nautilus’s control to ensure that members can keep their work. What we can and always will do is negotiate for members and try to achieve the best possible outcome. However, the decision as to whether a job disappears is still the shipowner’s/ employer’s.
Criminalisation, as a threat to every ship’s officer and master, is still kept alive by maritime administrations and prosecutors the world over. I have always wondered how that would help to reduce errors. So far, I have not found an answer. Nautilus is relentlessly campaigning on these issues and, with its network of specialised lawyers around the world and its collaborations with other maritime unions to bolster that global support network, affected members can access excellent support.
I consider Nautilus membership a must for every maritime and shipping professional. Those of us who have ever been in trouble at work and had Nautilus behind them will know that the comparatively small membership fee is an insignificant price to pay for comprehensive representation and support. It is a risk control measure which can hardly be beaten. If anybody thinks differently, I would recommend checking how much a solicitor would cost.
Shipping still makes the world go around and our members play a significant role in this business. So, despite being a relatively small union and professional organisation, we should always remember the importance our members’ work has for both our national and global economics. Our Union’s internationalization, our competence and our openness are important parts of our strength and allow us to punch above our weight.
Chair of Council