The Kenya Maritime Authority (KMA) has said it will continue to work closely with the Seafarers Union of Kenya (SUK) as it seeks to empower workers in the shipping industry.
In an interview with Weekend Business, KMA Director General Major (Rtd) George Okong’o said the areas that they are keen to further their collaboration on with SUK include employment and welfare matters.
He urged seafarers to register with a legitimate union to benefit from the strength in negotiation provided by the trade bodies.
“KMA is dedicated to progressing the welfare of seafarers. In 2018, KMA, facilitated the repatriation of Kenyan seafarers abandoned by ship owners in Indonesia, Oman, Somalia, as well as, assisted in the repatriation of seafarers from the Philippines, Mauritius, Indonesia and Seychelles, who were abandoned at the Port of Mombasa, to their countries,’’ said said Okong’o.
SEE ALSO :1,100 social media accounts shut down
He said that KMA was currently assisting to repatriate to Kenya two seafarers stranded onboard Comarco Falcon vessel in South Africa.
“Besides, KMA continues to mediate in disputes between seafarers and their employers as well as counsel seafarers on employment agreements with crewing agencies,” said Okongo.
The authority maintains a register of Kenyan seafarers, which has 2,017 registered as at January 30. The number is set to grow as more seafarers continue to be trained, certified and registered, said the director general.