The Singapore Organisation of Seamen (SOS), an affiliate of the Nautilus Federation, is to set aside more than SGD1.5million to assist with crew changes in the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Seacare Hotel – owned by a cooperative founded by SOS – is one of two facilities designated by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore to accommodate crew who are unable to transfer directly to their vessel or flight and require a temporary rest area of up to 48 hours.
Located at Chin Swee Road alongside the Seacare Building where SOS is headquartered, the hotel is the first in Singapore to be owned by a cooperative. Seacare owns and co-owns 13 hotels in Singapore, Malaysia and the United Kingdom.
The equivalent of £866,000 (EUR960,000) set aside by SOS will help to defray the cost of accommodation and meals for seafarers staying at the Seacare Hotel.
Entitlements for companies participating in the Seacare Sailors' Home Scheme (which provides accommodation and services for the benefit of SOS members, international seafarers and the shipping community) will be doubled for the redemption of full board accommodation for their crew at the Seacare Hotel.
Seafarers working for shipping companies that do not have collective bargaining agreements with SOS, will receive three meals daily from the scheme while housed at the Seacare Hotel.
SOS president Kam Soon Huat said: 'Seacare, as a cooperative set up by a seafarers' union, knows what it takes to look after the welfare of seafarers. Seacare Hotel is a natural choice because the maritime industry knows that the hotel is for seafarers.
'We want to show our appreciation to seafarers who are essential frontline workers and encourage the shipping companies during these challenging times. The enhancement of the Seacare Sailors Home Scheme is our way of saying that we are in this together.
'We strongly encourage shipping companies to expedite crew changes and to take this opportunity to utilise the Seacare Hotel to accommodate the seafarers,' Mr Kam urged.
Coordinator of the Nautilus Federation Danny McGowan said: 'It is great to see that SOS is working with the Seacare Hotel to make it available to seafarers at this difficult time for the industry. We know that seafarers changing crew and using the Seacare Hotel will receive the best of care and attention during their stay.
'We remind seafarers that we've got their backs this crew change crisis and stand ready to work with anyone seeking to get our members home or back to work.'