Nautilus general secretary Mark Dickinson has had a 38-year career in the maritime industry, which began when he joined the British Merchant Navy as a Navigating Cadet in 1978 at the age of 16. In 1983, having secured his Officer of the Watch Certificate he came ashore to study and gained a Bachelor of Science with honours in Maritime Studies from the University of Wales. In 1992, he gained a master’s degree with distinction in Industrial Relations from the London School of Economics.
Before joining Nautilus International in 2000 (then known as NUMAST), Mark worked for the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) in two spells from 1987 to 1991 and 1992 to 2000 — from 1995 he was the ITF’s assistant general secretary with responsibility for maritime activities. At the ITF he was responsible for the mission to locate MV Derbyshire which led to the reopening the formal inquiry into the tragic loss of that vessel. He also oversaw the ITF’s Global Mariner campaign as the key part of the ITF’s commemoration of its 50-year fight against the flag of convenience system. He was heavily involved in the development of the Maritime Labour Convention from concept to adoption in 2006. Mark has promoted the eradication of harassment and bullying at sea — work that which will see international guidance being incorporated into the MLC,2006.
Mark was elected general secretary of Nautilus International in May 2009 upon the merger of Nautilus UK (NUMAST) and Nautilus NL (FWZ) — creating the world’s first trans-boundary trade union representing professionals in the British and Dutch maritime and inland transport industries. In 2011 Mark oversaw the creation of a Swiss branch. Mark was re-elected in April 2013 for a further four years.
Mark is dedicated to fulfilling the Nautilus mission statement to be an independent, influential, global trade union and professional organisation, committed to delivering high quality, cost effective services to members, and welfare to needy seafarers and their dependants. Mark's current focus is on strategic campaigning around jobs and skills, fair treatment of seafarers and improving internet access at sea.
Mark is also director of the Nautilus Federation which brings together 13 like-minded trade unions and associations dedicated to the mutual support of their members in the global shipping industry.