ISWAN are delighted to welcome Synergy Marine Group as a new member. Here, Synergy describes its role in caring for seafarers' welfare.
What prompted Synergy to join ISWAN?
"The welfare of seafarers is one of the firm objectives of Synergy Group. Seafarers deserve appreciation and respect for a job well done, not just from within the maritime industry, but from people from all walks of life. They continue to take a pivotal role in underpinning international trade. It has been said that without their contribution, half the world would freeze and the other half starve. ISWAN, over the years has played a stellar role in seafarers' welfare with initiatives like establishing welfare facilities around the world and training ship visitors, and they have indeed made a huge difference. It is for the welfare of the 4000+ Synergy seafarers of various nationalities that we thought of synergising with ISWAN."
How does Synergy demonstrate commitment to the welfare of its Seafarers?
"Synergy Group treats the health and welfare of its staff with the upmost importance. We offer comprehensive medical coverage, including repatriation services for staff who are severely ill; we also provide comprehensive healthcare benefits to our staff, even when they are on leave (which includes their immediate family). We also ensure that sailing staff have an environment conducive to work and good recreational facilities on-board: including social events, gym and sports equipment and an extensive book and video library. An on-board committee oversees mess management so that there is a healthy, balanced diet, which caters to different food requirements. The company tries to meet seafarers' assignment requests, providing training for all ranks as well as offering promotion options. We also provide employment to kin of seafarers, but each prospective entrant (both at sea and ashore) has to go through an entrance test. In 2014-15 alone, 62 such recommendations from our seafarers were honoured.
Structured debriefing on completion of an assignment on-board is carried out for each seafarer and grievances (if any) are promptly addressed.
We recognize the importance of providing quality training to our seafarers and the difference it makes in their safety and wellbeing. We believe that training is the key to operating safe and efficient ships on greener seas. Our state of the art training centre in Chennai helps impart cutting edge skills to seafarers from across the world.
Last but not the least, being seafarers ourselves, we understand that there is nothing more important to a seafarer whilst he is on-board than timely remission of his/her wages and timely sign-off. At Synergy, we focus on these basic needs of our seafarers, wages are remitted before the end of each month and we have an overdue relief rate of less than 1%."
Does Synergy have any current or upcoming projects which will improve the services and facilities available to its seafarers?
"As part of one of Synergy Groups CSR initiatives –we have installed a drinking water cooler at the 'Seafarers Club Chennai' and are in process of installing two more. The Club is a home away from home for young seafarers appearing for their competency examinations, and is also frequented by seafarers of different nationalities (as the Chennai port is just a stone's throw away).
We look forward to working closely with ISWAN towards the welfare and wellbeing of seafarers."