Standing policy

When members of other unions are on strike, Nautilus International members should not carry out any duty that is normally carried out by members of the strikers’ union and should not take any action that would tend to exacerbate the situation, so making a solution to the problem more difficult.

This standing policy has separate sections for seafaring members, inland navigation members and shore based members.  These sections are all given below. Please read those parts of the document appropriate to you.

Each section refers to the “picket supervisor” whom, it should be noted, is required by law to wear something that readily identifies them as such (e.g. by wearing an arm band or other sign on their clothing) and should also carry a letter from their union stating that the picketing is approved by the union.   

Jump down to: Inland navigation members | Shore-based members

Seafaring members

In carrying out their own responsibilities, under relevant legislation and their own contracts of employment, members should ensure that a full crew of properly trained and qualified persons are onboard and all other safety requirements are met before taking any ship to sea. There should not be any attempt by members to break the strike by sailing ships with gaps in the crew complement or with any unsafe condition.

In carrying out this standing policy, members should take whatever steps are necessary to ensure the safety of any person on board and try to ensure, consistent with not provoking incidents, that the ship and its equipment are available in a seaworthy state to continue the voyage as soon as a settlement of the dispute has been achieved.

In taking steps to ensure their own comfort, members should maintain a low profile and, if necessary, seek the co-operation of the local strike convener, in order to maintain a relationship that will facilitate a speedy return to normality.

Disciplining of striking seafarers

If an entry is to be made into the official logbook naming individual seafarers who are on strike, Nautilus members should not participate in the making of the entries either by way of writing the entries or of witnessing an entry, other than an entry in the following form:

'This day the normal working of the ship was disrupted by reason of members of the crew being on strike in furtherance of a trade dispute.'

Pickets

Violence and lasting bitterness can easily occur when any person endeavours to cross a picket line. Should a member need to cross a picket line to reach his/her temporary home onboard a ship, the leader of the pickets should be approached, in a non-aggressive manner, with the request to permit passage to the member’s living quarters. Should such an approach fail, members should contact Nautilus, giving the name of the union concerned and the location of the pickets.

Particular situations

For the protection of members against unfair pressure from individual personnel managers, members may receive instructions rather than advice from the Nautilus general secretary in particular situations.

Local difficulties

Situations not covered in this standing policy should be handled with the usual discretion and tact expected of maritime professionals, if possible in consultation with an official of Nautilus.

Shipmasters

It is in the interests of all concerned that shipmasters should not participate in any strike by officers either as part of the strike or as a strike-breaker. The shipmaster must maintain his or her statutory and contractual position and all members of Nautilus must ensure in their conduct of any strike that company managers or agents or local police or military are not given any excuse to overrule or displace the shipmaster. In this way, any dispute between officers and management has a chance of being concluded without the danger of subsequent post-strike disruption of shipboard relationships and perhaps even safety arrangements.

Shipmasters abiding by this standing policy will be fully supported by the Union’s Council.

Doctors and medical staff

Doctors and medical staff should particularly note the requirements of this policy upon members to take whatever steps are necessary to ensure the safety of any person onboard. This implies using their skills to assist any person needing medical attention, whether or not that person is part of the ship’s crew.

Inland navigation members

In carrying out their own responsibilities, under relevant legislation and their own contracts of employment, members should ensure that a full crew of properly trained and qualified persons are onboard and all other safety requirements are met before commencing any voyage. There should not be any attempt by members to break the strike by sailing ships with gaps in the crew complement or with any unsafe condition.

In carrying out this standing policy, members should take whatever steps are necessary to ensure the safety of any person onboard and try to ensure, consistent with not provoking incidents, that the ship and its equipment are available in a seaworthy state to continue the voyage as soon as a settlement of the dispute has been achieved.

In taking steps to ensure their own comfort, members should maintain a low profile and, if necessary, seek the co-operation of the local strike convener, in order to maintain a relationship that will facilitate a speedy return to normality. 

Pickets

Violence and lasting bitterness can easily occur when any person endeavours to cross a picket line. Should a member need to cross a picket line to reach his/her temporary home onboard a ship, the leader of the pickets should be approached, in a non-aggressive manner, with the request to permit passage to the member’s living quarters. Should such an approach fail, members should contact Nautilus, giving the name of the union concerned and the location of the pickets.

Particular situations

For the protection of members against unfair pressure from individual personnel managers, members may receive instructions rather than advice from the Nautilus general secretary in particular situations.

Local difficulties

Situations not covered in this standing policy should be handled with the usual discretion and tact expected of maritime professionals, if possible in consultation with an official of Nautilus.

Shore-based members

The following advice applies specifically to members who are not members of a union engaged in legitimate industrial action ashore.

Shore-based members may find that their employer is in dispute with another union. Alternatively, it may be that your workplace is a shared workplace or with multiple companies in situ and one of the companies is in dispute with another union. In either of these two scenarios you may encounter a picket line outside your normal place of work.

Normally the picket line will be an official picket line where members of the union in dispute have undertaken a ballot under the relevant legislation, in order that the action is official action and the union concerned is protected from litigation by the company/employer. Members should explain to the picketing supervisor that they are a member of Nautilus, that their union is not in dispute with the employer/company and that you seek permission to cross the picket line and enter your normal place of work to conduct your normal duties.

Should members encounter any difficulties they should contact Nautilus.