Nautilus has flagged its support for maritime professionals facing growing financial constraints due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Many seafarers on short term contracts – including offshore workers – will be unable to join their vessels and may be facing continued unemployment and job insecurity in the current crisis.
'There are doubts in the industry that some seafarers will be able to access the government's wage support measures for furloughed workers, because most UK seafarers have offshore contracts,' Nautilus general secretary Mark Dickinson said.
The Union is working to get better access to government funding streams with social partners RMT Union, the UK Chamber of Shipping and the Department for Transport (DfT).
'Obviously there is much we can do too as a trade union, and charity and we will be emphasising that over the coming days, but we are also raising awareness of our partner's resources at this time.'
Financial and social support is available to furloughed crew from several Nautilus partner maritime charities.
- The Seafarers' Advice & Information Line (SAIL) is a citizens advice service for merchant seafarers, fishermen and members of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) that can provide information on financial support including benefits, debt relief, housing and charity grants. SAIL is run by Greenwich Citizens Advice Bureaux on behalf of the Seafarers Hospital.
- The Seafarers' Charity (formerly Seafarers UK) is a leading provider of grants to maritime charities including the Nautilus Welfare Fund caseworker service.
- The Seafarers' Charity also offers individual support through Seafarer Support, a free telephone help assessment service for seafarers and Turn2Us, a national charity providing practical help and financial grants to people who are struggling financially.
- The Merchant Navy Welfare Board (MNWB) is a charity that promotes co-operation between organisations that provide welfare services to merchant seafarers and their dependants within the UK. It does not give grants to individuals, but provides grants for capital and smaller projects to organisations supporting maritime workers.
Nautilus members who are concerned or are experiencing difficulties related to the coronavirus outbreak are advised to contact their industrial organiser for assistance. In an emergency members can also contact the Nautilus 24/7 helpline.