1st January, 2004

Press Statement

RESTRUCTURING PROGRAM: SEAFARERS UNION OF KENYA

It gives me great pleasure to write this press statement at the beginning of a new year.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you who have been part of my struggle for seafarers rights.

May I please beg to inform all Kenyan Seafarers that seafarers Union of Kenya has launched a 90 day crush program of membership recruitment drive, collection of CVs/Data, Views and opinion from Seafarers and general members of the public on how to revamp the moribund Seafarers’ Union of Kenya.  

During the said period I shall be visiting Seafarers working aboard all Ocean- going vessels calling the Mombasa Port.,

Seafarers’ Union of Kenya shall in the said period launch a campaign against sub-standard shipping and ships flaying flags of convenience (FOC) calling the seaport of Mombasa.

During the same period SUK will prepare.  Articles of agreement and Collective Bargaining Agreement for the perusal and approval of the SUK members.

SUK shall also during the said 90 days restructuring program, lobby for the legislation of the reviewed maritime labour laws of Kenya as well as lobby for respect of the government directive on recruitment and replacement of seafarers aboard the ocean – going vessels calling the sea port of Mombasa.

In collaboration with the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) seafarers Union of Kenya shall in the restructuring program organize a three day workshop in the third week of January 2004.

Given that the majority of the 500,000 seafarers working a board the 2,000 Liberian flagged vessels are non-Africans. SUK shall within the said period lobby for employment of African seafarers a board this world’s second largest ship registry- Liberian International Ship and Cooperate Registry (LISCR)

As an independent trade union SUK shall seek assistance from the International Labour Office (ILO) human rights groups and International Labour Movement in exerting pressure on the authorities and business circles to establish culture of democracy, respect for seafarers’ rights, social justice and non-discrimination of merchant mariners in this region.

Trusting that this program will be useful and interesting in reviving the seafarers  union of Kenya I wish all Kenyan seafarers a happy and healthy New Year – 2004.

Andrew Mwangura

Organizing Secretary

SEAFARERS UNION OF KENYA