ITF backs Nautilus call for action on job ‘scams’

A Nautilus motion calling for action to combat the problems caused by crooked crewing agencies has been unanimously agreed by union delegations from around the world attending the 43rd International Transport Workers’ Federation Congress in Bulgaria. Nautilus general secretary Mark Dickinson moved the motion, which highlighted concerns over the growing number of cases in which seafarers have been ripped off by companies offering non-existent jobs at sea. Mr Dickinson said such scams often prey upon the most vulnerable by making tempting promises of work on cruiseships or other vessels — usually offering a job involving travel, and then requesting money for associated visa or work permit applications. The Nautilus motion urges the ITF to conduct a ‘name and shame’ campaign against such practices, with the aim of making sure that those behind the operations are brought to justice. It also calls for more guidance to be given to seafarers on ways to protect themselves from such scams. The Nautilus motion is among 64 being debated during the ITF Congress, which will be attended by around 1,400 delegates. The seafarers’ section conference also backed motions demanding action against fatigue and excessive workloads caused by under-manning of ships, and to tackle unjust treatment, criminalisation and shore leave prohibitions.