The seamen in Zhoushan are going through a period of reduced salaries, arrears, structural excess in seaman employment, and the recession of shipping industry, all of which have put negative impacts on the city’s seaman services market.
"In 2011, my salary was 48 thousand yuan per month, but now it has been cut down to 38 thousand yuan. What’s more, I have been owed in back pay for six months." Mr. Yang, a bulk cargo carrier captain said on February 28. He was seeking for a new job in a seaman employment agency. To find a new job on ship was easy for Yang, but what worried him most was whether he could get his salary on time.
Triggered by the global trade downturn, the surplus shipping capacity and growing human costs have further tensed seaman’s employment situation. The overall demand for seaman has reduced, salary on oil tanker has come higher than coastal bulk cargo ship, positions for chief mate and third mate have overstaffed while sailors and marine engineers are short of supply.
It is known that management positions provided on ship for third mates and third enginemen or above are much less than those for sailors and marine engineers. However, there are many seamen in Zhoushan with certifications of third mates and third enginemen or above who are unwilling to employ themselves in positions like sailors or marine engineers.
Therefore, seamen looking for management positions feel it hard to find an ideal job on ship with satisfactory salary. Meanwhile, shortage of sailors and marine engineers has promoted salary of general crewmen.
"In the past year, monthly salary of third mate has reduced from 15,000 yuan to 5,000 -6,000 yuan. Nonetheless, it is still hard to get a job." An employment agency staff said.
Contrarily, many shipping companies find it a mission impossible to recruit enough sailors and engineers, even offering higher salary. According to a list issued in February by Zhejiang Ship Trade Market, salary for sailors and engineers has risen by 15% to 4,000 yuan per month.