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A land-based Nautilus staff member gets a close-up look at how seafarers benefit from the work of Nautilus and the ITF
Nautilus International's new HR business partner Heather Wood gained first-hand experience of the day-to day-work of Tommy Molloy, a NW England ship inspector seconded by Nautilus to the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF).
Ms Wood accompanied Mr Molloy in July 2019 for a day in the Port of Liverpool, as he conducted ship inspections to ensure compliance with collective bargaining agreements and seafarer employment contracts.
'It is useful to get as many Nautilus staff as possible out on to vessels in order that they can better appreciate the work of Nautilus inspectors and the role of Nautilus within the ITF,' said Mr Molloy. 'It's hard to fully appreciate the conditions and the life of a seafarer without actually having an idea of their working and living environment, looking them in the eye and discussing the issues they are faced with.'
On one of the vessels inspected, the Marshall Islands-registered Nenita, a discrepancy was discovered related to overtime payments. Mr Molloy's intervention resulted in a total of US$5,600 being paid to seven Filipino crew who otherwise wouldn't have been paid these wages.
'The delight in their eyes when receiving the wages they know are rightfully theirs lets us know that the collective effort we put into the job is well worthwhile,' said Mr Molloy.
It's hard to fully appreciate the conditions and the life of a seafarer without actually having an idea of their working and living environment, looking them in the eye and discussing the issues they are faced with Nautilus/ITF inspector Tommy Molloy
Another vessel was found to be fully compliant with the ITF agreement signed by Nautilus Netherlands, but the interaction with the crew onboard was still just as useful.
'This was truly a great experience, one which I would recommend if you have the opportunity. Very memorable and has given me a great insight to the work and dedication that Tommy delivers for Nautilus and the ITF,' said Ms Wood.
Mr Molloy is regularly invited by ITF head office in London to familiarise staff based there in the same way. He also delivers practical field training for new ITF inspectors.
'New inspectors from around the world are required to spend a month on induction training in London. As well as helping to deliver part of the theoretical training there, I help with the on the job training for some of the newer inspectors who will spend a week with me, usually around the Mersey and along the Manchester Ship Canal to experience the realities of what they might be faced with and how to deal with the situations we discover,' said Mr Molloy.
'Most vessels are in compliance with the agreements signed. But we still see too many where that is not the case. That the ITF worldwide recovers around US$35m owed wages each year is an indication of the extent of the problem. And that doesn't cover issues such as poor quality or no food; failure to repatriate; poor living conditions; excessive working hours and fatigue; lack of safety equipment, unsafe vessels and so on. It is often an eye-opener for colleagues not used to seeing such conditions.'