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* How old are you?
* Where were you born?
* What is your nationality/citizenship?
* What is your first language or dialect?
* Have you ever been to school? (what grade did you reach?)
* What is your marital status?
* Do you have any children?
(if yes) How many, their sex, age, education, marital status and occupation
* Where is your home now? Where does your family live?
* How many people live in your household?
Who are they?
* Apart from your earnings is there any other member of the household who
earns any money?
(if yes) who, what kind of work and how much does the person earn?
* As far back as you can remember, Can you tell me what kind of work you
have done before you started to work at sea?
* How old were you when you first started to work at sea?
* How long have you been working at sea?
* Have you ever dropped out of working at sea?
(If yes) Why did you drop out / why did you come back?
* Why did you come to work at sea? What circumstances led you to taking
up a career as a seafarer?
* How did you get your first work at sea?
* Did you have to pay a fee to a Manning Agent or person/organisation to get
work at sea?
*Can you please briefly describe your career from your first ship until today
(routes, trades, ship types, nationalities on board, languages he used in
different situations)?
*Which nationalities do you like better to work with? / Why?
* Which ship did you like best the best? / Why? F
* Which ship didn’t you like? / Why?
to many people in your country want to work at sea? I Why?
*What sort of strategies do people use to have access to the seafaring labour

* How do seafarers from your country manage to stay/survive in the labour
* What is your position on board?
* Can you tell me about your typical day at work? (Description of your daily
work, working hours, workload etc - when the ship is in port and at sea)
* Can you tell me 3 things that you like about your job?
* What are 3 things that you don’t like about your job?
* Can you tell me whether you are happy or not happy with your present job?
* Thinking about the last month: How many hours were there in your typical
working day (including over time)?
*What is the longest time you had to work without a break of at least half an
hour in the past month?
How often does this occur?
* Can you tell me how muth you earn? (basic, overtime, leave pay etc.)
* Are your wages usually paid to you?
Yes No Comment
Regularly as
Through manning
At the same level as
others on board in a
similar job
Paid on board
Paid in your country
Paid part on board /
part in your country
Kept until the end of
the contract before full
Are you owed wages
(against your will)

* Do you work permanently or on a contract?
(if contract) how long is your current contract?
* How easy is it for you to get your next contract?

what are the main subjects you talk about? Can you tell me 3 of them in order? * Can you tell me 3 things that you are most likely to do.* Can you tell me about the advantages and disadvantages of working with mixed nationality crews. in your spare time. since you have started to work at sea.) (If this is limited can you explain why) * What sort of strategies do you follow to get on well with the different nationalities on board? Do they always work? * When you come together with your workmates. * Can you comment on the quality of your social contact with other nationalities on board. What kind of changes took place in your working and social life? * How optimistic are you about your future? / Why? * What do you feel are the good and the bad things about being a seafarer? . (eating together. at work or outside of work. socialising together etc. after work? * (if you work on a contract) What do you do in the months that you don’t work? (if you do another paid job) How much do you earn? * How much do you spend during your tour of duty / When you are at home (monthly saving.)? * Who manages the household economy? * Since you have been working at sea have any of these things happened to you? Not at all Sometimes Frequently Comments Unfair treatment because of my race/nationality Unfair treatment because of my religion Physical abuse from others Mental abuse from anyone * Are you afraid of losing your job? (if yes or no ) why (if yes) how long have you had this fear? * Can you tell me. spending etc.

* Can you comment on the difference between seafarers from your own country and those from advanced industrialised countries? (Do they get same treatment. financial hardship etc. illness. wages. do they eat similar food etc. working and living conditions on board.). small business etc. promotion etc) (According to nationalities the question can be asked visa versa) * You spend most of your life away from your family and community and floating in a ship around the globe moving between different countries and different cultures. killing the captain) * Being realistic about it. which is a place where social relations cross geographic. sex.)? * Do you have any savings or investments from your earnings at sea? (If yes. * Do you have any sense of excitement before arriving in a port? * How do you feel when leaving a port? What did you do when you went ashore? * When you are at shore or the ship is in port do you buy any goods to take/send home? (If yes can you tell me what sort of things do you buy / have you bought up to now?) * Can you please comment on the quality of your social contact with the wider community around the port of call (for example is it limited to shop keepers etc. cultural and political borders.) * As a seafarer you are living and working on board a ship. if I ask you to where do you belong what would you say? What is it that makes you feel you belong there? * Are there some places where you identify with people more. what would you like to be doing in 10 years time and where do you think you will be living. (as a loan or a gift / for education. You are one day here and an another day there. isolation. and what are you planning to do with your savings/ investments) *Can you compare your economic and social position with non-seafarer neighbours in your community? (Do they buy the same goods.* When you are on your own what are you most recurrent thoughts? ( because you understand them better. what sort of investments . or maybe their culture? (If yes or no can you explain why?) . Can you comment on the effects of this environment on your national/ethnic/cultural identity since you started to work at sea? * Can you also comment on what the effects of living and working with ethnically and culturally divers crews are on the quality of social life on board? * Can you reflect on your thoughts about your family and community? * Can you please tell me do you / have you ever support(ed) any of your relatives or friends financially.

? (if yes or no can you explain why?) * How can you describe a seafarer’s life? * I have asked you a lot of questions — do you have anything you’d like to ask me? .* How often do you communicate with your family and friends I How? * Are there any similarities between your culture and that of people belonging to the other nationalities on board? Do you have a similar life style ect.




THE FORMATION AND MAINTENANCE OF TRANSNATIONAL SEAFARER COMMUNITIES (ESRC Award Ref No: L214252036) Prof Tony Lane Dr Erol Kahveci Dr Helen Sampson Seafarers International Research Centre Cardiff University PO Box 907 Cardiff CF10 3YP Tel: +44 (0)29 2087 4620 Fax: +44 (0)29 2087 4619 Email:

A sociological history of British seafarers in WWII emphasises the analytical importance of occupational cultures. 1986). (Aubert & Arner. Wong. 1995) Only in their backward linkages to their places of origin with their substantial networks of family and familiars are seafarers conventionally transnational in the sense that they recognisably connect with the themes of modern migration . The very few previous studies of merchant seafarers were mainly conducted in a different conjuncture. OECD-owned ships. There were some exceptions to this as in the case of Yemeni seafarer communities in the UK. (Lane. 1995. especially those concerned with the structures and processes of the shipboard social order. Until recent decades expatriate seafarer communities were indissolubly linked to local labour markets formed from the discharges and engagements of crews of arriving and departing ships and the possibilities of casual. shore-based employment. 1992) although most of the issues are raised in Nigel Harris’s. (Harris. 1989. Ship ownership and management is today still concentrated in OECD countries but offshore registration devices and defensive responses by the governments of established maritime nations in the 1970s and 1980s resulted in the transformation of crewing practices. expatriate communities and homeland families. but only where recruitment methods in the country of origin foreshadowed contemporary practices. 1983) while a collective biography of British merchant seafarers was a thematic narrative of everyday life in the declining moment of UK shipping(Lane. Lane. The populations. (Hugill. 1996b. 1959) A decade later a British study saw a statistical analysis of the same subject. (Lane. 1972) A more recent study aboard a Norwegian ship was focused on industrial relations (Schrank. (Lawless. 2000) Seafarers are embedded in three types of transnational communities: the ship. (Hill. The ship itself has become a community of transnationals but this is recent. Frost. 2 BACKGROUND The research for this study of the impacts of transnational processes on seafarers communities was set in the context of recent structural changes in world shipping and its labour markets. 1994) We have been unable to trace any recent studies of expatriate working class itinerants apart from one excellent journalist’s account of Filipinos in Yokohama (Ventura. The best known of these involved Norwegian seafarers and was concerned with explaining high rates of labour turnover. Lane. tenuous links between seafarers and their countries of origin. 1990) The research reported here draws on the theoretical insights of these previous studies. The New Untouchables. By the late 1990s. 1997. were sailing with crews of transnationals supplied by a highly organised global labour market. 2000) Relatively expensive and cumbersome transnational communications and travel entailed fragile. 1996a. apart from handfuls of settled labour market intermediaries. 1967. almost regardless of flag. were not made up of internal and external immigrants who were settled but periodically absent itinerants.

below). 1999) These recent explorations all suggest the possibilities for the modern migrant of being at home both in the country of arrival and the country of departure. the ship. . Basch et al. providing guidance. Hirst & Thompson. tape recorders and tapes and organising subsequent collection and analysis. saw studies of social networks and remittance chains among expatriate groups and family social and organisational adjustments to absent fathers. depth interviews were used extensively and in all cases transcribed verbatim. seminars and presentations (see Activities & Impacts). may be legally attached to a nation state but in practice is a site of global space. and senior manager interviews to identify employers’ crewing strategies and policies. 1996. 1995. The evaluation of actors’/subjects’ diaries as research instruments involved recruiting diarists during fieldwork. There has been no previous research of this kind. 3 studies. Camilleri & Falk. unmodified. METHODS The project had six evidence-gathering elements. 1995. Vertovec. Fieldwork in the Netherlands and N Germany and then in the Philippines and India respectively. The empirical backcloth to the transnational case studies reported here is a survey of the global labour market for seafarers as amplified by data from interviews with crew managers from large and influential companies. (Amin & Thrift. either in the shipping industry or elsewhere. (Portes. Labour issues have not been neglected but have largely centred on debates on the weakened regulatory powers of nation states. (1980) is still the only ‘thick’ case study of the impact on employment of a globalising industry. The New International Division of Labour. expatriate communities and seafarers’ families case studies have been made very extensively in contributions to academic and shipping industry conferences. Diaries were processed similarly. 1999. OBJECTIVES The initial aims were met. Contributions to debates on the dynamics of transnational communities as informed by our shipboard. Tape recorded. At this level.1994. is discussed in this study. 1996) The Froebel et al study. Kearney. The literature on globalisation in the last decade has become extensive but none of it has been able to draw on industry-specific case studies of a global workforce. The investigation of the social order among crews of mixed nationalities entailed fieldwork voyages aboard ships with various crew nationality compositions (see Table 1. the research is unique. translated as necessary and ‘cut and pasted’ into thematic files for collation and analysis. How far this can apply to seafarers when the ‘country of arrival’. 1992. Peck. The methods used in each case are outlined below. a global survey of crewing patterns (see Table 2 & Figure 1).

mainly supplied by immigration and other state agencies and trade unions in N America. • The research voyages were aboard ships ranging from a recently built. Monaco.000 seafarers in the period. Asia and Australasia. 25 Cabo Verdeans. Europe. 1997-2000. the Netherlands. 289 - • The survey of senior managers (using taped interviews) involved ten large companies based in the USA. below.000 29 4 26 Gulf Carrier S E Asia 7 Bulk 31. drawn from a non-random sample of 10.000 persons.000 ships and 200. The basic characteristics of ships and crews etc.500 7 6 12 W Europe 13 General 40.000 26 3 12 W Europe Carrier 9 Oil 99.50 Filipinos.000 26 2 42 Latin America Europe 4 Oil 250.000 37 3 30 Gulf Tanker Philippines 5 Bulk 3. Germany. UK.000 36 4 34 West Africa Rotterdam Europe 3 Reefer 15. sophisticated LPG tanker to two oil tankers subsequently sold for scrap and a small bulk carrier which later sank after her cargo shifted. .000 26 5 18 N America C America Total .000 29 14 12 India Cargo Egypt 14 Oil Tanker 32. Table 1: Ships and Research Voyages Ship Ship Type Ship Size Crew Number of Days Route (dwt/TEU) Size Nationalities Spent Onboard Onboard 1 Container 1400 17 3 17 Liverpool TEU Mediterranean Le Havre 2 Ro-Ro 11. • The expatriate seafarers’ community studies carried out in the Netherlands and N Germany produced 141 taped in-depth interviews .200 ships.000 26 3 21 Santos Carrier Sheerness 8 Car 26. 4 • The global labour market survey was a random sample with a population of 1000 ships and of 20. Hong Kong and Singapore.000 seafarers in 1. Research data consisted of observations recorded in fieldwork diaries (14) and taped interviews with crew members of all ranks (242). The resultant database gave eight fields and was analysed using SPSS. is summarised in Table 1. . 350 .000 7 3 14 W Europe Carrier 6 Gas 72.000 25 4 16 W Europe S America 12 Bulk Carrier 2. 30 Indonesians. Central America. These companies employed a total of 27. Raw data came from crew lists.000 25 6 21 Norway Tanker Canada 10 Oil 25. 27 Ghanaians and nine other informants.000 34 5 14 Kuwait Tanker India 11 Reefer 17.

All interviews in the Netherlands were in English. 5 mainly German. Philippines access was arranged through the Catholic church’s organisation. Tape recorders and tapes were provided in most cases. Jamaica. five focus group discussions with wives and children. it was also the first ever survey of the crewing of the world fleet able to report data in such detail and accuracy as to make it useful and useable to shipping industry organisations and associations with crewing interests. Cuba. Half of the Philippines interviews were conducted in Tagalog or Cebuano with simultaneous translation provided by three Filipina fieldwork assistants recruited locally. and then through local priests and parishioner groups. • The studies of seafarers’ families in the Philippines and India produced 131 taped. Apart from providing essential profiling of seafarers’ nationalities and crew composition for all aspects of the study. we have the ability to take people from there if we need them. In both countries proportionate numbers of ratings’ and officers’ family members participated.’ . In India (Mumbai and Goa) all interviews were in English. Senegal and Cote d’Ivoire. ten with retired seafarers. The survey findings show the full extent of transnationalism in world shipping and the identification of a distinct set of crewing patterns. on request. In Germany 40 per cent were in German. to keep tape- recorded diaries. Ecuador. the Apostleship of the Sea. Peru. A director of a company providing crew management for a fleet of 600 ships told us about the previous year’s checks on labour supply in different world regions: ‘We looked at Romania where we now have a contract in place and we also have a contract in Bulgaria. communication routes were agreed and written guidelines discussed with each subject. We have looked at Ghana. depth interviews with wives. These statistical findings were qualitatively amplified through interviews with crew managers. These data provide the first objective and extensive account of the composition of the global labourforce (see Figure 1 & Table 2) and show the existence of a well- organised labour market. RESULTS The Labour Market and Crew Managers The labour market survey results are significant in their own right. We have had another look at Indonesia and we have recently set up a joint venture crewing agency in China . Seven seafarers and all wives completed diaries and returned tapes. In other words. • Seventeen serving seafarers and ten wives agreed. We have looked at Venezuela. So we are always looking.

9 S Asia / M East S Asia / M East S Asia / M East 2.6 E Europe E Europe Far East 4.7 OECD S Asia / M East S Asia / M East 1.1 OECD E Europe Far East 2.3 2 single Far East Far East Far East 40.8 Far East Far East S Asia / M East 1. Figure 1 Number of different nationalities (all shiptypes) 5+ nationalities 10.5 E Europe E Europe Far East 1.2 L America / Africa L America / Africa L America / Africa 2 OECD OECD OECD 1.8 S Asia / M East S Asia / M East S Asia / M East 7.4 S Asia / M East S Asia / M East S Asia / M East 7. 6 All interviewed managers as well as those encountered through shipboard research.3 E Europe E Europe E Europe 14.7 OECD S Asia / M East S Asia / M East 3.9 OECD OECD Far East 4.2 OECD OECD Far East 3.5 >=3 single Far East Far East Far East 15. were engaged in similar monitoring practices.3 E Europe Far East Far East 2.7% 1 nationality 34.5 multiple OECD Far East Far East 18.2 multiple OECD Far East Far East 14.8 E Europe E Europe E Europe 33. seminars and presentations.0% 2 nationalities 28.7 S Asia / M East S Asia / M East Far East 1. attendance at conferences.5% Table 2 Regional composition patterns by number of nationalities: open registers (all shiptypes) Number of Nationalities Region Senior officers Junior officers Ratings % 1 single Far East Far East Far East 55.5 .2% 3 nationalities 17.6 E Europe E Europe E Europe 8.6% 4 nationalities 9.2 E Europe Far East Far East 7.9 E Europe E Europe S Asia / M East 2.

This is indexed in the commonplace remark. We found no routinised attempts made to counter discontinuities through the organisation of team-building routines and rituals. Here. ships do not house organic communities marked by population and social network continuities. This was surprising considering that at least 50% of the world’s ships fly flags of convenience (FOC). 7 The survey reveals a strong preference among crew managers for senior officers from OECD and E European countries and for junior officers and ratings from the Far East and S Asia/M. regulation takes the form of a modus vivendi negotiated between the ship master who is legally the absent shipowner’s agent and crew who have only the modest protection of their contracts of employment. These conditions are then filled out by the resilience of an occupational culture that makes national identities aboard ship redundant for all everyday life purposes. They are held together by universally familiar integrative social mechanisms. ‘friendships end at the gangway’. The fixity and limited number of shipboard roles. senior or junior. Crews of Transnationals Crews of transnationals. East. The research ships were all communities of transnationals in the sense of being ‘territories’ occupied by people of different nationalities. We found contractual engagement and occupational culture to be the key to understanding the shipboard social order. doing similar work. are very rarely assembled or dissolved simultaneously. No officers. Regardless of crew nationality composition. Seafarers may be migrant workers but once aboard FOC ships are not in a national space but in a global space. none of which have the administrative capacity to regulate the society of the ship. None of the companies formally or informally encountered during the study had procedures for assessing crews’ team performances although individual appraisal schemes for all ranks were widely used. Crews consist of strangers-become-shipmates so that the social relations of seafarers’ employments are experienced as a series of discontinuous and discontinued encounters. Living aboard similar ships. had ever received instruction in team-management during their professional training and education. the simplicity of the formal and normative rules patterning conduct provide sufficient conditions for the easy transferability of persons between ships. we found. visiting similar places and a regular stream of encounters with strangers who are nevertheless ‘people just . This regional pattern of rank-nationality preferences was experienced at first-hand during the shipboard studies where eleven of fourteen ships had OECD senior officers and ratings from the Far East and S Asia/M East and all junior officers from the Far East or S Asia/M East. Conflicts on other grounds may of course reactivate national identities but we found no evidence on any of our ships for the salience of nationality and a good deal of evidence to the contrary. Eighty per cent of our seafarer interviewees expressed a preference for mixed nationality crews. the boundaries of permissible variation in role performance. where the state is both absent and effectively anonymous.

sad shipmates. There are some exceptional ships where officers and ratings eat in the same space . Single nationalities. But we also noticed a different pattern in ships with two nationalities and where officers and ratings each form nationally homogeneous groups. The stories were not elaborate nor long in the recounting and typically told in snatched moments of sociability. girls met. Our shipboard research strongly suggests that mixed nationality crews work best when both officer and rating complements are made up of three or more nationalities and where no single nationality is capable of producing a viable group. One of our unexpected findings was that social distance between officers and ratings seemed to be conducive to fluent social relations by fostering good working relationships within each group which. a few groups and a few groups there. They are not elaborate narratives designed for an audience but snapshots of moments that everyone else has experienced regardless of who they are and where they are from. favourite ports. good captains bad captains. But here. 8 like us’ all encourage the regular maintenance and upkeep of a dense occupational culture. with multinational.but powerful when taken together. evil crewing agents …. as it were. they are throwing knives and things and I have never seen that here. We found no evidence of the development of ‘hybrid identities’ and indeed became sceptical of the concept the greater our familiarity with crews of transnationals. These story tellings are. weather encountered. Accommodation and messing arrangements reflect the layering. in turn. The manifestations taken in themselves can seem insubstantial . substantially formed from transient seafarers. Short accounts of bars visited. there is nothing like that. There would be groups. On . In these cases transnational solidarities are weak and may even have a colonial character where officers are from OECD countries and ratings from developing nations in Africa or Asia. What we found was the irrelevance of national identities in the everyday. fostered similarly good relations between the groups. No violence. is virtually extinct but that newer and sometimes well-organised forms have emerged.and we sailed on one of them – but separation is normal and off-duty social interaction between ranks is discouraged. set up to encourage inclusion. A common response to questioning on the advantages and disadvantages of single nationality crews came from a Filipino cook: ‘It is more dangerous to work with one nationality. We observed story telling aboard ship to be especially important. Seafarers seem to have reached similar conclusions.’ Transnational Expatriate Communities The community studies in the Netherlands and N Germany show that the ‘classic’ community. Ships have formal hierarchical structures where officers form 40 per and ratings 60 per cent of total complements. These stories have powerfully solidifying effects both in the telling and in the re- enactments of shipboard life. face-to-face lives of ensembles of transnationals.

9 the one hand the development of whole-crew hiring through agencies in seafarers’ home countries. house/office cleaning and construction work were all mentioned. In the Netherlands we found Filipino. usually had wider and better-paid opportunities working in ship-repair and the offshore oil and gas industry. Employment on small intra-regionally trading ships frequently depends on ‘traditional’ local labour markets.Gardner. Recruited in several cohorts for Dutch hospitals in the 1970s. . Lane. 1995. The gatekeepers to seafaring employment in Rotterdam were Cabo Verdean ex- seafarers who favoured their countrymen but acted for all comers. 1995) Despite the fact that the Indonesian and Ghanaian communities in the Netherlands are of longer standing than the Filipino. have substantially undermined the organisational and legal bases that once sustained itinerant expatriate communities. Filipinos. these nurses unwittingly became pioneer migrant settlers in the same way that Syhleti seafarers prepared the ground for Bengali migrants in Britain in the 1950s and 60s. This brokered route to employment reinforces seafarer-centred network dependencies. Given these conditions. European trade ships in our shipboard study used local markets and recruited Cabo Verdean. In Hamburg-Bremen and Rotterdam there are still opportunities for seafarers to be engaged individually. Access to these jobs was the result of the wider networks available to Filipinos and these in turn were the outcome of the arrival and subsequent settlement of Filipina nurses. On the other hand our fieldwork in Germany and the Netherlands shows that at the margins. 1987. Seafarers from these groups live either in seafarers’ hostels or rent houses where up to ten people share costs and those longest out of work subsidise the others.flower-picking. The same applies to Ghanaians and Cabo Verdeans in Germany. seafarers from these national groups are thinly connected with the shore-based communities of their fellow nationals. Other shipboard employment depends on the much more unpredictable needs of long-distance traders needing short-notice substitutes. The evidence for this was strong. and the progressive tightening of border-crossing controls in such hub ports as Hamburg and Rotterdam. Most job negotiations take place in the Rotterdam Seamen’s House bar where there are always Ghanaian and Indonesian seafarers (but never Filipinos) passing time in hope of a ship. (Adams. we concluded that viable expatriate seafarer communities depend upon either strong labour market connections or casual employment ashore between ships. however. Indonesian and Ghanaian seafarers all able to find some casual work between ships . These circumstances showed a marked contrast with the well-organised Rotterdam Filipinos. Indonesian and African crew members giving Rotterdam home addresses. border regulation can be flexible where there is some local demand for expatriate seafarers. It was noteworthy that only the small.

the contractual currency for global seafarers. have become eligible for unemployment benefits. SEAFARERS’ FAMILIES As once in Europe. was organising monthly remittances worth Nfl 500. And in these districts we found the influence of seafarers to be a matter of public display. ambiguously combining religious belief and dependency on the US dollar. Further study is needed to explain fully the different situations of the national groups and the differences between Germany and the Netherlands. This suggests that the economic and political circumstances of transnationals may be significantly affected by social security regulations in ‘host’ countries. Indonesians and Cabo Verdeans were from privately held savings and often sent as cash. jeepneys. Remittances by Ghanaians. Loans and Initiatives in the Netherlands in the 1990s. so now in the Philippines recruitment to seafaring is concentrated in town and city districts with strong maritime associations. Originally established to help visiting Filipino seafarers find employment and residence. 10 In the early 1980s resident Filipino seafarers formed the Filipino Seafarers Assistance Programme (PSAP) from the Rotterdam Seafarers House. simultaneously a friendly society and a credit union. constitute an investment much favoured by seafarers. The jeepney illustrated here bears the motto ‘In God We Trust’. Those owned by seafarers’ families are sometimes unmistakable. Receipt of these benefits keeps them out of the casual labour market for fear of jeopardising their guestworker status and the subsequent threat to homeward remittances. carried by countryman making periodic home visits. This organisation. There is also a decorative anchor motif and a ship identified by name and port of registry An informant said this signified that the ship depicted had paid high levels of overtime and visited ports offering a ‘good run ashore'.000 by 2001 and arranged door to door cash deliveries to the Metro Manila and Cebu City areas. it set up the ancillary Philippine Association of Sea-based Workers for Savings. While we are confident that Filipino success in Rotterdam is probably a chance outcome of an established female migrant settler group. we think it possible that social security administrative measures in Germany are unintentionally responsible for the isolation of Cabo Verdeans and Ghanaians. Almost all of these seafarers have been employed aboard German-flagged ships and through their obligatory social security contributions. The distinctive bus-taxi’s of the Philippines. usually run as family businesses. .

kitchen utensils. Our estimates. Total earnings.000 per annum. This discrepancy can be explained by the fact that official statistics are based on the mandatory remittance of 80 per cent of basic wages. We have already referred to seafarers’ skills as global consumers. These ‘boxes’ are recognisably sailor-style parcels in neatly knotted cordage containing clothing. add some 60 per cent to basic pay most of which is remitted. The electrical goods in particular having additional economic functions. And when unredeemed pass into the wider community at discounted prices. computers. have no parallel in India. Indian seafarers return with curios of their travels but not with portable . largesse takes the form of the gift box (balikbayan).UK seafarers wryly described themselves as ‘one-day millionaires’ . perfumes. Federal states . toys. were not found in India. 11 The Philippines Overseas Employment Agency (POEA) values seafarers annual remittances at approximately $0. We estimate each seafarer remits an average of $12. including overtime and leave pay.may benefit from the multiplier effect of remittances but goes unrecognised. In the case of Filipinos. these goods may be pawned.0bn. TVs etc. suggest the figure is substantially higher. yielding a national total of $3.8bn.and similarly ritualised in the Philippines. Conspicuous displays of largesse typical of the sojourners return . In India there is no systematic regulation of overseas workers at local or federal state levels and therefore no foreign-earnings data for seafarers. CDs.and Goa is a good example given the extensiveness of its peoples’ transnational associations . When the seafarers leave pay has run out but he is not ready to return to sea. based on our labour market survey and shipboard and family interviews. stereo systems. video cameras. Tax discounts on overseas workers’ imported goods and public acknowledgement of the importance of overseas earnings as seen in the Philippines’ celebratory ‘overseas workers days’.

Seafarers in both countries typically own their own houses.and always initially capitalised from a husband’s remittance. borrowing heavily to buy labour market access through middle men. land. These people. funeral. It might be a small shop or an ice cream kiosk run from a kitchen window . brother in-laws. and uncles. In the Philippines and India equally. Loans are made to relatives and trusted community members. In the Philippines remittances are much more likely to provide working capital for domestic production. running shows every evening and reporting regular audiences of around 100 people. as expected. did not run a small business of some kind. Where remittances are concerned. We found no examples of Indian wives involvement in small businesses By way of contrast we found Indian seafarers without qualifications and/or an Indian seamen’s book contributing very little to the local economy except by servicing loans to local creditors. this confirms findings from other studies of transnationals’ remittances. with the assistance of their children. Businesses capitalised by remittances are run by brothers. Property ownership as a form of investment is popular in Goa. especially among senior officers who could go to sea infrequently and still live comfortably on their investment incomes. We also found ratings who on the basis of secure employment had built large houses but accumulated little in the way of savings or investments. wedding and education bills of close relatives and friends are met fully or in part. at the margin of legality in terms of their labour market credentials for employment. chain organisation in both countries is uncomplicated and usually free of ‘gratuities’ to third parties and the sums involved are large enough to ensure that seafarers families receive substantial benefits. That Indian seafarers return with curio goods and Filipinos with domestic consumption goods suggests that ‘MacDonaldisation’ theories of globalisation might usefully be explored through grounded studies of transnationals’ consumption preferences. were frequently indebted to family members or moneylenders. Charitable donations are made to religious organisations but also to ‘needy’ people within the local community. 12 cornucopias of consumer goods. extended and nuclear family members are beneficiaries and. The same could also be said for many goods in the Philippines but that would imply an uncomplicated utilitarian explanation for Filipinos consumption. claiming that they can buy cheaply the same goods at home. small businesses and even property. A 2nd officer’s wife living in a remote village without mains electricity had turned one of her rooms into cinema. only to find work on sub-standard ships at low rates . This was one of the more ambitious enterprises we discovered - but it was a rare household where wives. sisters. Hospital. Most of the tapes and discs were cheap pirate copies bought in the world’s ports. The generator that powered the house and all its equipment had been brought home by her husband.

It was repeatedly drawn to our attention that seafarers’ families live two lives which are out of balance in terms of time and emotional affect. We found no parallels to these practices in India where at least among officers the away period rarely exceeds six months. many wives and children spoke of the difficulties adjusting to the repetitive cycle or return and departure. coupled with the negotiating skills learned in adjusting to arranged marriages found return periods less disruptive. Attempts at introducing strict seniority by age and relationship. they were intensely resented. Many wives and children said their lives were more normal when their husbands/fathers were at sea but that absence could also be a cause for anxiety. And then anyway the costs are too great to allow more than exchanges of news. Filipino seafarers. 13 of pay. perhaps not so surprising. On the other hand the strength of culturally sanctioned definitions of spheres of interest and authority as between marriage partners and parents and children. Seafarers do maintain contact mostly by telephone when in port but dockside telephones are not always easily found and opportunities do not always coincide with mutually convenient time zones. Accordingly. are away aboard ship for not less than nine months and rarely home for longer than two to three months. These seafarers live precariously and some of those interviewed were effectively in ‘debt bondage’. We found no cases of husbands/fathers taking their ships home with them. Efforts were made to recover diaries by visits to ships but this was impracticable in too many cases. Ratings’ tours are similar if not longer than for Filipinos. timetabling the day to reflect the shipboard routine and allocating clearly defined duties to all members. Family life is undoubtedly disrupted by the seafarers’ return. S E Asia or Africa where longer port stays are normal. There was evidence that some respondents did begin to record diaries diligently they either subsequently lost interest or found it . This was disappointing but given the pattern of seafarers movements. Since these inevitably cut across embedded but informal systems of organisation. both in terms of hierarchy and the division of labour. for example. In their absence every aspect of domestic family management is the sole responsibility of their partners. DIARIES The return rate for seafarers diaries was a little under fifty per cent. Especially noticeable among Filipino seafarers were attempts to reproduce the organisation of the ship in the home. We found that wives were well informed on the availability of prostitutes in the world’s ports and were always concerned when their husband’s ships were trading to Latin America. We found. a number of written timetables and duties posted on walls. and it varies little with rank. Disputes frequently arise over economic management and child discipline and by the husband’s immediate attempts to assume the head-of-household role.

a British shipmaster. Sampson. 14 difficult to return tapes. the main welfare providers are church based. World Englishes) • A wholly unplanned output of the shipboard study is a photographic archive of 3000+ prints and negatives. Transnational Drifters or Hyperspace Dwellers?: an exploration of the lives of Filipino seafarers aboard ship and ashore. We have given papers and presentations to employers. Three papers have been given to the Transnational Communities Seminar Series in Oxford University’s School of Geography. Racial & Ethnic Studies. have worldwide networks of chaplains and port centres. France (2000) and to the Work. has been published by Lloyd’s Register-Fairplay. One diarist.. • Two papers have been accepted for publication in refereed journals (Sampson. ACTIVITIES Throughout the study period the research team was in frequent contact with organisations and associations forming the nucleii of those shipping industry’s infrastructural networks which informally constitute the constituencies of the emergent ‘political’ system of global shipping. kept diaries over a two-year period and regularly returned them. The Church of England through the Missions to Seafarers and the Catholic church through Stella Maris. Germany (2001). trade unions and welfare agencies. Crewing the World’s International Merchant Fleet. Despite these drawbacks we did conclude that diaries could provide rich and detailed data not fully revealed in standard interviewing and observational techniques. The collection is currently being indexed on advice from the . The team also attended academic conferences dealing with global/transnational issues and delivered papers in China and Singapore (2000). all featuring seafarers of various ranks and nationalities. 2000). These include a one-day seminar in Singapore (2001) for an invited audience of senior managers and trade union officers. Employment and Society and Global Studies Association conferences in the UK in 2001. the world’s sole publisher of world fleet statistics. OUTPUTS • The global labour market survey. and plenary addresses on the theme of the global seafarer to the International Christian Maritime Association’s world congress in South Africa (1999) and the European meeting of the Pontifical Council for the Welfare of Migrant and Itinerant Workers (Marseilles. In this industry and for historical reasons. a Ghanaian engineroom rating provided an excellent account of the pace of work aboard a ship trading in Europe and another. These and other contributions provided the ‘light and shade’ not easily captured by methods and we will confidently use them again but with realistic expectations of return to sender.

Specifically. FUTURE RESEARCH PRIORITIES The research experience highlighted the need for research in a number of areas of policy and theoretical relevance: 1. The annual survey. Our response was to organise a one-day seminar for the entire MAIB staff in November 2000 on our-then findings after seven voyages. is priced at a level (£465) which should cover costs and leave a margin for development of a global survey of pay and conditions of employment. 3. We advised against easy negative assumptions on the inferiority of mixed nationality crews. 15 National Photographic Museum and reproductions will be made available to the public on a non-profit making basis. A further development of the shipboard transnational study reported above should be undertaken to identify the social dynamics characteristic of single. based in future on a significantly wider global network of data providers including the world’s two largest ports. Our relationship with MAIB has subsequently developed and SIRC staff will now be organising an annual briefing seminar for MAIB staff on ongoing research. A comparative study of these practices would be of great interest to the relevant UN agencies and contribute to a fuller understanding of the mechanisms of global labour markets for low paid workers. Studies of this sort have great potential promise for understanding the factors at work in face-to-face multicultural encounters. Considering the growing prevalence of mixed nationality crews. MAIB wanted our opinion on whether the ship’s mixed nationality crew may have contributed to the grounding. IMPACTS • The labour market survey is being commercially published in a partnership between Lloyd’s Register-Fairplay and SIRC where revenues are equally divided. • During the shipboard research the chief inspector of the UK Marine Accident Investigation Branch(MAIB) asked the team for advice on an accident involving the stranding of a large merchant ship on the UK’s south coast. Incidentally to the study we found that ILO and IMO conventions on safety training certification and the charging of labour agency fees are flouted in some world regions. a study of current training provision and expertise levels among ships officers and company crew managers could usefully contribute to developing education and training programmes for crew managers and key ships’ personnel. . 2. double and multiple nationality crew compositions.

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