Posted by: Craig | April 27, 2008

Salaries stay the same for 15 years

I talk to the deck officers about their careers, I get slightly different answers, one eyes a possible job with a Norwegian offshore company, better pay and conditions, another seems happy with the position but would like to see more money (don’t we all, but when I compared their salaries to mine 10-15 years ago I found no difference, and they pay more tax).

The Swedish unions have been in talks with the state controlled organisation which decides salaries, on behalf of the Swedish ship owners.  A fortnight ago, they threatened strike action, but dropped this after further negotiations. And here I have officers voicing these thoughts and doubts themselves.

But here’s a little thought. If Sweden has a rule that says non domiciled Swedes can pay only 50 percent tax (nice), then why not extend that concession to seafarers who spend a lot of their time abroad anyway? Well, I gather the Swedish industry needs to do something. Owners are threatening to flag their vessels elsewhere, officers are looking at other European employment and of course the crew shortage problem afflicts the Swedish companies as much as anywhere. So much so in fact that the unions have agreed with owners that up to 50% of a ships crew can be Filipino until a solution can be found.

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