Mark Dickinson, general secretary

Mark Dickinson is currently serving his third term as general secretary of maritime trade union Nautilus International and has held the position since the union formed in May 2009, following the merger of Nautilus UK and Nautilus NL.

Mark oversees the Nautilus mission to be an independent, influential, global trade union and professional organisation, committed to delivering high quality, cost effective services to members, and welfare to needy seafarers and their dependants.


Mark Dickinson has spent over 40 years in the maritime industry, which began when he joined the British Merchant Navy as a Navigating Cadet in 1978 at the age of 16. In 1983, having secured his Officer of the Watch Certificate he moved ashore to study and gained a Bachelor of Science with honours in Maritime Studies from the University of Wales. In 1992, he gained a master's degree with distinction in Industrial Relations from the London School of Economics.

Mark joined Nautilus International in 2000 (then known as NUMAST) as an executive officer. He previously worked for the International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) in two spells from 1987 to 1991 and 1992 to 2000, from 1995 he was the ITF's assistant general secretary with responsibility for maritime activities.

At the ITF, he was responsible for the mission to locate MV Derbyshire which led to the reopening the formal inquiry into the tragic loss of that vessel. He also oversaw the ITF's Global Mariner campaign as the key part of the ITF's commemoration of the fight against the flag of convenience system.

During his time at both the ITF and Nautilus International, Mark was heavily involved in the development of the Maritime Labour Convention – the seafarers' Bill of Rights, from the initial concept to its adoption in 2006.

Mark is director of the Nautilus Federation which brings together 13 like-minded trade unions and associations dedicated to the mutual support of their members in the global shipping industry.

Mark's other roles include:

  • Elected spokesperson for European Seafarers on the EU Sectorial Social Dialogue Committee on maritime transport
  • ITF board advisor, ETF maritime transport section
  • ITF Seafarers' Section and Fair Practices Committee
  • UK Trades Union Congress (TUC) General Council member
  • UK TUC executive committee member
  • Merchant Navy Officers Pension Fund and Ensign Retirement Plan Trustee Director
  • Seafarers UK Trustee
  • Merchant Navy Welfare Board Trustee
  • Maritime Educational Foundation Trustee


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