Acting Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy yesterday revealed that consideration was being given to erecting a monument in honour of people who had worked at sea. He made the announcement at a service at the Church Of The Nazarene, in Collymore Rock, St Michael, that marked the start of Maritime Week 2014.
“We also take this opportunity to acknowledge the tremendous work that has been done for Barbados by seafarers,” Sealy said. “I think it’s important that we also give thanks during this Maritime Week for this work and also to make sure, going forward, that others who decided to make a living as seafarers can be assured of proper conditions of labour.”
A day earlier, an event was held at the Bay Street Esplanade to celebrate Seafarer’s Day. At that time, the minister disclosed that Government was moving to strengthen the laws that dealt with conditions of work for people employed at sea.
Noting the “huge sacrifices” made and “yeoman service” given by seafarers, Sealy said his administration was actively reviewing current legislation. He said this would complement the Maritime Labour Convention that went into effect in Barbados on June 20.
“The Maritime Labour Convention addresses the conditions of employment and the minimum requirements for seafarers to work on ships,” Sealy explained. “I cannot overemphasize the importance of this convention –– oft-times called the Seafarer’s Bill Of Rights –– to the promotion and securing of safe and secure working conditions.
“Barbados already has in place national laws with respect to, inter alia, crew agreements, seafarers’ hours of work and rest and repatriation. However, my ministry is actively reviewing the legislation so as to strengthen the national requirements.”
During the short ceremony, Sealy announced that Gershon Shepherd had won the Minister’s Prize for being most outstanding student in maritime studies at the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic.