I am humbled, honored, and privileged to accept the role of President of Bangladesh Merchant Marine Officers’ Association (BMMOA) for the next two years (2023-2024). My heartiest gratitude goes out to each and every member of this association who has inspired me and has put their faith in me to lead this association.
I am extremely thankful to my predecessors for their leadership and outstanding contributions to BMMOA during their tenure. Indeed, the growth of BMMOA has been propelled collectively by the individuals and all the past Executive Committees and members. I along with the present Executive Committee look forward to continuing this important work towards fulfilling the mission of BMMOA.
In this endeavor, I would like to congratulate my colleagues of the present executive committee who have shown the character to embrace the association and its challenges as an integral part of their life. With the continuous support and dedication of members, I am confident that we can achieve our common goals by properly developing our resources and being steadfast in addressing the pressing challenges. I am sure we will have plenty of achievements to share with the esteemed members of this association.
Merchant Mariners are one of those neglected professionals, who have often been overlooked not only by international organizations but also by their own countries.
The tough lifestyle we live and the hardships we endure at sea to make sure the world and its people continue to enjoy their life onshore. We:-
- Run the Global Economy.
- Sacrifice our Social Life.
- Fight the Toughest Seas and Roughest Weather.
- Risk our Lives through Piracy and War Zones.
- Face Extreme Health Hazards.
- Follow Toughest Regulations and Laws.
- Work Round the Clock with Monotonous Routines.
- Work the Most without the Basic Rights.
- Are at High Risk of Criminalization and Abandonment While Performing our Duties.
- Live with modest Accommodation and Communication Facilities even in these modern days of science & technology.
BMMOA can help us relieve those pressures and give us the platform/opportunity to stay connected to those seniors, juniors, friends, family, and other fellow mariners of Bangladesh.
To promote strength in this community we need to:-
- Promote good industrial relations between members & their employers.
- Improve the working condition of members & enhance their financial & social status.
- Advance the social, cultural, recreational & educational aspects of members.
- Work together with other leading unions around the world to enhance activities & vice-versa.
- Maintain affiliation with International Traffic Workers Federation (ITF), London, UK.
- Liaise & work with Government & International bodies including IMO, ILO, and ICS, etc in order to take part in developing the shipping sector in Bangladesh.
- Share the latest & modern knowledge related to shipping & other subjects among the community & Government bodies.
The new Executive committee took a great initiative and was successful in bringing about changes in our constitution (2019) by amending the old one (1986), so as to bring all of us together again where, we can share and recall the pleasant memories of the past, including voting rights for all Bangladeshi Mariners who are valid members of this association.
The active participation from members are important:-
- To become a global leading professional tripartite association/agent/representative in the maritime industry.
- Arranging condition of services under favorable CBA, covering high standards of working, living & employment conditions onboard.
- Arranging protection for any contractual disputes.
- Ensure medical attention, disability & death compensation of international standard.
- Arranging social security protection as required by MLC 2006.
- Creating brotherhood among fellow seafarers.
- Arranging Industry related Seminars, social & family gatherings.
- Promoting Employment through attending sponsored/arranged international conferences/seminars.
- Provide help to distressed officers & seafarers.
- Protect seafarers from exploitation.
- Arranging souvenirs’, gifts, magazines for guests, officers & their families.
BMMOA’S obligation to our future & ourselves is to establish, enforce & protect the right to be free from torture & abuse at the hands of any hostile force.
Therefore, all Merchant Marine Officers need to be united under the umbrella of BMMOA & be part of a big global ITF family. As a seafarer, it’s a smart choice to join the ITF affiliated BMMOA & do this before you actually need urgent help.
Our future is filled with great opportunities and great challenges, and In-Sha-Allah, with your help; we will meet them and make the coming years the best years for the members of this association.
Capt Md. Anam Chowdhury
Bangladesh Merchant Marine Officers’ Association.