Nautilus International is urging all the major parties in the UK to put maritime policies at the heart of their manifestos for the 8th June general election.
To protect the jobs and livelihoods of the country’s 23,000 seafarers, the union is calling on all parties to commit to support British shipping and the employment and training of British seafarers.
Nautilus says it is vital that the next government takes urgent action to implement the recommendations of the Maritime Growth Study and to adopt the SMarT Plus proposals for improved seafarer training support, which have been jointly submitted by unions and ship owners.
In reaction to the election announcement, Nautilus General Secretary Mark Dickinson commented: “The next six weeks will provide us with an opportunity to convey our proposals as codified in the Union’s Charter for Jobs, Skills and the Future of the Shipping Industry to politicians of all persuasions and ensure that the political parties incorporate the needs of the industry in their campaigns.
“It’s a critical time for the UK as we re-evaluate trade deals with countries all around the world. To ensure the nation’s transport and economic security in a post-Brexit world, no matter who is at the helm, we must protect and maintain a sustainable and well-funded maritime industry which puts jobs for British citizens at its core.
“With the country relying on seafarers to bring us 95 per cent of our goods, the Union is urging all political parties to take our reliance on shipping more seriously. We will witness a further decline of the nation’s essential maritime skills and an even greater dependence on other countries in a world of increasing political turbulence if politicians do not have an ambitious strategy for the UK maritime sector,” he said.
“Nautilus is committed to working hard to ensure its campaigning objectives are not side-lined by the general election and we will now be writing to the main parties ahead of the election to press them on their maritime policies. We will also be seeking reassurances from each party that the maritime industry remains at the forefront of their agendas.”
As an island nation, the UK relies on shipping and seafarers for many essential goods including 95% of its total imports and 75% of its total exports. Nautilus is currently campaigning to protect British seafarers with its Ten Point Charter for Jobs to encourage the UK government to deliver decent training and working conditions for those working at sea.