Nautilus International

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Nautilus International
Nautlius international logo.jpg
Full name Nautilus International
Founded 2009
Members more than 22,000 (2016)
Affiliation International Transport Workers' Federation, International Federation of Shipmasters Associations, Trades Union Congress, Federatie Nederlandse Vakbeweging, Nautlius Federation
Key people Mark Dickinson, General Secretary
Office location London, England; Rotterdam, The Netherlands; Basel, Switzerland
Country United Kingdom, Holland, Switzerland

Nautilus International is an international trades union and professional association representing seafarers and allied workers, which is based in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Switzerland.


The union's head office is in London, UK; its General Secretary is Mark Dickinson.[1] The union also has offices in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, and Basel, Switzerland.

Nautilus International is affiliated to the International Transport Workers' Federation, International Federation of Shipmasters Associations, the UK Trades Union Congress, the Dutch Federatie Nederlandse Vakbeweging and the Nautilus Federation.[2]


The union's membership in 2016 stood at more than 22,000[2]; 15,043 in the UK (male: 14,537, female: 506).[1] This includes "shipmasters, officers, cadets, ratings, yacht crew, VTS officers, harbourmasters, river boatmen, nautical college lecturers, maritime lawyers and even ship-based medical personnel.".[2]


Nautilus traces its roots back more than 150 years, when the Mercantile Marine Service Association was founded in 1857 in response to the harsh laws of the 1850 Merchant Shipping Act.

In 1936, the MMSA merged with the Imperial Merchant Service Guild and retained its name. Six years later, it became a member of the Officers’ Federation, which was established in 1928 in an attempt to foster cooperation between all the organisations representing British and Commonwealth officers.

Meanwhile, the Association of Wireless Telegraphists was established in 1912 in response to the growing use of telegraphy at sea. Mergers and name changes down the years culminated in the formation of the Radio & Electronic Officers' Union (REOU) in 1967.

Representation for ships' engineers began in the late 19th century, and two unions came together to form the Marine Engineers’ Association (MEA) in 1899.

The Navigating & Engineer Officers' Union (NEOU) was born in the mid-1930s and in 1956, following more than a decade of cooperation on issues of common concern, the MEA and the NEOU joined to form the Merchant Navy & Airline Officers' Association (MNAOA).

NUMAST to Nautilus International[edit]

In 1985, the National Union of Marine, Aviation and Shipping Transport Officers (NUMAST) was established through a merger between the MMSA, REOU and MNAOA.

The union formerly included aviation personnel, such as flight navigators and flight engineers, however these members were transferred to BALPA, the airline pilots' union by 1990.

In 2006, the Union became a partner with the Dutch union Federatie van Werknemers in de Zeevaart and, on 2 October 2006, changed its name to "Nautilus UK" to reflect the increasing globalisation of shipping in the new millennium. FWZ became Nautilus NL at the same time. The two unions also launched of the Nautilus Federation, through which Nautilus NL and Nautilus UK worked closely together on an industrial and political level.

In 2008, members of Nautilus UK and Nautilus NL voted overwhelmingly in favour of proposals to create a new single trans-boundary union for maritime professionals. Nautilus International was born on 15 May 2009. In 2011, Swiss maritime professionals and boatmen, formally represented by Swiss union Unia, voted to join Nautilus International. In 2015, FNV Waterbouw also became part of the union. [3]

See also[edit]

Nautilus International website

Nautilus Federation website


  1. ^ a b "Trades Union Congress - Nautilus International". Retrieved 2017-06-22. 
  2. ^ a b c "Who we are". Nautilus International. Retrieved 23 June 2016. 
  3. ^ "History". Nautilus International. Retrieved 23 June 2016.