To all Shipping Branches and Regional Councils
17th March 2023
RENAMING THE SEAMEN’S UK DISCHARGE BOOK OR BRITISH SEAMEN’S CARD
At the 2022 Biennial Maritime and Industrial Organising Conference, a resolution was passed calling for the renaming of the Seamen’s UK Discharge Book or British
Seamen’s Card, using the word “Seafarer”.
In carrying out the NEC instruction, this request was sent to the Shipping Minister, Baroness Vere, at the Department of Transport. A positive response has been received. She writes:
“We, in the Department and the Maritime Coastguard Agency, must all do what we can to help make the maritime industry as inclusive as possible, including the language that we use, and welcome the support of your Union in doing this….
I have directed the MCA to remove the gender-specific terms where possible, and they are able to do so by law..
The MCA will continue to work towards applying gender-neutral language more widely which will include replacing the outdated gender-specific terms in the names of the documents that you reference in your letter as soon as possible.”
Progress with be monitored and reported back. Meanwhile, I would be most grateful if you could bring the content of this circular to the attention of all your seafaring members.