Illustration photo: Captain Tran Minh steers the Pacific Express. (Photo: VNA)
Trade unions representing seafarers in Asia at the recently-concluded 32nd Asian Seafarers Summit Meeting and the 24th Asian-Norway Seafarers Conference in Kyoto, Japan agreed to establish a hotline to support regional seamen in case of emergency.

President of the trade union of the Vietnam National Shipping Lines (Vinalines) Le Phan Linh, who led the Vietnamese delegation to the events, told a reporter of Lao dong (Labour) daily that the hotline will update the moment an incident occurs as well as its developments to support seamen in distress.

The initiative was launched in the context of complicated maritime transport developments in many regions across the world, especially in the Asia-Pacific, he said, stressing Vietnam’s active involvement in the formation of the hotline.

Participants also agreed to ask ship owners to ensure the interests of seafarers in distress, helping them feel more confident before going out to sea, Linh added.

On the occasion, the Vinalines trade union held bilateral meetings with its counterparts from Japan, the Republic of Korea, Singapore and Russia in a bid to seek job opportunities on foreign ships for Vietnamese sailors, he noted.

Regarding the 24th Asian-Norway Seafarers Conference , Linh said with the aim to attract Asian seafarers to work for Norwegian ships, the Norwegian Seafarers’ Union (NSU) introduced their wages, bonuses and social welfare policies as well as the strict requirements of professionalism, English-language and health status for seamen.

According to Linh, Vietnam has partnered with the All Japan Seamen’s Union and ship owners nationwide to improve professional knowledge and foreign language skills for local seafarers.

In turn, nearly 2,000 seafarers have been trained and are qualified to be recruited by foreign ships, he said.

The 32nd Asian Seafarers Summit Meeting and the 24th Asian-Norway Seafarers Conference gathered delegates from 17 trade unions representing seafarers in 12 Asian countries and those from Norway and several European countries.-VNA