About

MIlestones

2017 - Current
  • SOS launched an on-demand shuttle service to ferry seafarers calling at Pasir Panjang Terminal to and fro the Seacare Drop-In Centre for International Seafarers. The free service was launched on 25 June 2018, in conjunction with the Day of the Seafarer celebration.
  • SOS launched its enhanced Welfare Schemes in 2017. The scheme comprised an additional $3m funding to help shipping companies defray overheads over a 2-year period. It also ensured members’ job security and training opportunities during the global shipping downturn.
2012 - 2016
  • SOS and Seacare celebrated their 45th and 22nd Anniversaries, respectively in December 2016.
  • SOS joined the Nautilus Federation in 2015.
  • SOS launched the Seafaring Cook Place-and-Train programme in 2014.
  • SOS officer, Sharon Li Yingying, was elected Co-Chair of the ITF Young Transport Workers Committee and a Member of the ITF Executive Board at the ITF 43rd Congress in Sofia, Bulgaria in August 2014.
  • The SOS-owned, Seacare Hotel, officially kicked off its operation on 30 Jan 2013, in a ceremony witnessed by ex-NTUC SG, Mr Lim Swee Say and ITF Acting General Secretary, ITF Mr Stephen Cotton.
  • SOS launched the MLC Certified Cook Training Programme in 2013.
  • SOS launched a Training Centre Replica Galley at the Singapore (Nantong) International Maritime Institute (SNIMI) in 2012.
2006 - 2011
  • SOS inaugurated the Singapore-Nantong International Maritime Institute (SNIMI) – a joint-venture between SOS, Nantong Shipping College and Singhai Marine Service – on 11 November 2011.
  • Singapore ratified the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) 2006.
  • SOS celebrated its 40th Anniversary in 2011.
  • SOS launched the groundbreaking ceremony for the Seacare Hotel on 20 May 2010.
  • SOS launched the Seacare Sailors’ Home Scheme (SSS) in 1 May 2010 to provide subsidised accommodation for members at the Seacare Sailors’ Home at Mandaluyong City, in Philippines.
  • SOS extended the Seacare Maritime Scheme (SMS) benefits and coverage to Malaysia in 2009.
  • SOS launched the Internet Seafarers’ Provident Fund (iSPF) in 2009.
  • SOS launched the Seacare Quality Rating Training (SQRT) in 2008.
  • SOS and Seacare officially opened the Seacare Drop-In Centre for International Seafarers at Pasir Panjang Terminal Building in 2008.
  • SOS amended its constitution to include General Branch members in 2007 while extending Participating Staff membership to senior management staff of Seacare Group of Companies.
  • SOS launched the SOS Membership Card in 2006.
  • SOS and Seacare celebrated their 35th and 12th Anniversaries, respectively in 2006.
  • SOS and the Seacare Maritime Medical Centre launched their 1st affiliated clinic in Vietnam and their 6th in Cebu, Philippines in 2006.
  • SOS appointed Ms Grace Fu as Advisor on 1 August 2006.
2001 - 2005
  • SOS launched the Seacare Medical Scheme (SMS) in March 2005.
  • SOS officially opened the Seacare Maritime Medical Center (SMMC) at the Amara Hotel in January 2005.
  • SOS and Seacare celebrated their 32nd and 9th anniversaries, respectively in 2003.
  • SOS appointed Mr Arthur Fong as Advisor on 1 April 2002.
  • SOS offered scholarships for ‘Diploma in Maritime and Port Management’ in 2002.
  • SOS launched its new logo in October 2001.
  • SOS and the Seacare Group of Companies shifted to Seacare Building in February 2001. The Seacare Building was officially opened by Mr Lim Boon Heng, ex-Secretary-General, NTUC and Minister without Portfolio on 26 June the same year.
1996 - 2000
  • SOS and SMOU launched the Seafarers’ Provident Fund Scheme (SPF) in 2000.
  • SOS acquired a 9-storey building at Chin Swee Road in 2000, to serve as corporate HQ for both the union and the Seacare Group of Companies.
  • SOS, MPA and SMOU formed the Singapore Stranded Seafarers Fund (SSSF) in 1999 to help abandoned seafarers.
  • SOS and local affiliates recovered over US$2 million in claims for foreign seafarers in 1996.
1991 - 1995
  • SOS launched Seacare Holdings Pte Ltd as the commercial arm of Seacare Co-operative Ltd in 1995.
  • SOS awarded 372,670 shares of Seacare Co-operative Ltd to 979 eligible members in conjunction with the union’s 25th Anniversary Celebration in 1995.
  • SOS endorsed the formation of Seacare Co-operative in 1994 and registered Seacare Co-operative Ltd on 28 May with the mission: “To help and benefit Singapore seamen and their families through more work opportunities and appropriate investments projects.”
  • SOS amended its constitution in 1991 to include foreign seamen as participating members – to tackle a declining membership and maintain relevance in the changing landscape.
1986 - 1990
  • SOS convinced the National Maritime Board (NMB) to set up a tripartite committee in 1990 to improve the working and living conditions of seamen, including helping local seamen upgrade their skills to secure jobs on board high-tech vessels.
  • SOS amended its constitution in 1989 to include de-registered seamen as participating members.
  • SOS enhanced its Training Grants in 1989 to allow members to pursue courses beyond the fields of seafaring.
  • SOS and SMOU, with the help of NTUC, convinced the ITF to declare Singapore as a non “Flag of Convenience” on 1 January 1989.
  • SOS signed a CBA in 1988 to allow local seamen to work on board ships under the Danish International Register.
  • SOS signed a Foreign Flag Agreement in 1988 to cover Singaporean seamen working on board Neptune Shipmanagement Services.
  • SOS set up a job placement unit in 1987 to find shore-based jobs for unemployed seamen and sponsored them for training in cargo-handling and forklift operation.
  • SOS set up a special committee in 1986 to study the viability of creating employment for displaced seamen.
1981 - 1985
  • SOS secured a permanent employment scheme for members working on board ships managed by Maersk Company Pte Ltd in 1984. The scheme allowed permanently-employed seamen, who had exhausted their employment and medical leave, to receive full wages during their standby period. It also entitled them to study leave for skills-upgrading.
  • SOS secured a permanent employment scheme for members working on board ships managed by Neptune Shipmanagement Services Pte Ltd in 1983. This is despite the recession that hit the shipping industry, in addition to increasing competition from foreign seamen, who were willing to work for lower wages.
  • SOS, SMOU and NTUC protested against the detention of Singapore-registered ship “Pacific Viking” by the Seamen’s Union of Australia (SUA) in June 1982. The ship was released after 17 days in detention.
  • SOS and the National Maritime Board (NMB) introduced a Group Insurance Scheme for Singaporean seamen in 1981.
1976 - 1980
  • SOS’s launched the quarterly bulletin “SAMUDRA” in August 1980 to better inform members of its activities.
  • SOS signed its first CBA with national carrier, Neptune Orient Lines, in January 1980 covering 275 crew members and 19 vessels.
  • SOS co-organised the 1st and 2nd Asian Seafarers Conferences in Singapore in 1979, where regional unions deliberated on ITF policies that were against the interests of Asian seamen.
  • SOS launched the SOS Membership Benefit Scheme in 1978 to provide a range of welfare benefits for members and their dependants.
  • SOS moved from the Trade Union House to an office at NTUC Trade Union Annexe, Shenton Way in 1978.
1971 - 1975
  • Following a Board of Inquiry recommendations to enhance wages for seafarers from 1 January 1974, many shipping companies including Singapore’s Neptune Orient Lines implemented the recommendations in full. However, SSA members, refused to comply fully. Through the active campaign by SOS and NTUC, they were later taken to task by the Ministry of Labour and made to comply and backdate payments.
  • SOS co-organised the ITF’s first regional Seminar in Singapore titled “ITF Asian Labour Educators’ Seminar” in 1973.
  • Singapore Organisation of Seamen (SOS) was registered on 30 October 1971.