After slightly more than a half-year of negotiations, the SIU and the American Maritime Association have finalized new, five-year standard freightship and tanker agreements that the union wholeheartedly endorses.
The agreements will be presented to Seafarers for ratification during the July membership meetings and during vessel servicings. Exhaustive efforts will be made to help ensure that all eligible members have the opportunity to vote.
The contracts increase wages, maintain benefits, protect every SIU job, add a holiday, increase pension benefits for many of our more experienced Seafarers, and secure a commitment from the companies to provide shipboard internet access for every crew member. As always, the union relied heavily on input from rank-and-file members when approaching negotiations. The final agreements clearly reflect that input, which primarily was received through direct correspondence and shipboard meeting minutes.
Subject to ratification by the membership, the contracts will be effective from July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2027. Negotiations began in December 2021 and, at various times, took place in New York, Piney Point, Camp Springs, and online.
These bargaining sessions were more difficult than most. They took place against a backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic and a manpower shortage that has affected almost every industry in the nation. Nevertheless, negotiations resulted in agreements that meet our stated objectives of maintaining benefits, boosting wages, continuing job security, and committing to shipboard internet access for all SIU crew members.
Further details will be presented at the halls and aboard ship.