What are Unions representing Indian Seafarers | NUSI and MUI | 2023

Union Representing Indian Seafarers

NUSI and MUI are the unions representing Indian Seafarers, They collaborate to address the diverse concerns of seafarers and strive to ensure that the rights and well-being of Indian seafarers are upheld in the maritime sector. Their combined efforts contribute significantly to the protection and advancement of seafarer rights in India.

Indian Seafarer Onboard Ship

National Union of Seafarers of India (NUSI)

NUSI is one of the largest and oldest maritime trade unions in India. It was established in 1887 and has since played a crucial role in safeguarding the rights and promoting the well-being of Indian seafarers such as Rating and petty officers who are working on foreign going, home trade, offshore, cruise ships, and harbor tugs/ crafts on Indian flag vessels. 

Maritime Union of India (MUI): 

MUI is another prominent union in India that represents the Merchant navy officers. It was founded in 1939 and has a long history of advocating for seafarer rights and welfare. MUI works to address issues related to employment contracts, crew welfare, and training, and ensure that Indian seafarers receive fair treatment both at home and abroad. 

Indian Seafarer Community

What is the Maritime Union of India? 


Why MUI is required for seafarers?

Seafarer unions are crucial for addressing a wide range of issues faced by officers and crew members working at sea. These issues include:

Issue Description
Officer Safety Unions advocate for safety measures on ships to protect the well-being of seafarers, ensuring compliance with international safety standards and protocols.
Grievance Handling Unions provide a structured platform for seafarers to voice their grievances, facilitating the resolution of workplace disputes and unfair treatment.
Salary Issues Unions negotiate fair wages and work diligently to ensure that seafarers receive their rightful compensation in a timely manner.
Company Sign-On/Sign-Off Problems Unions work to prevent delays in crew changes, ensuring that seafarers can return home as scheduled and commence their duties promptly.
Wrong Contract Signing and Contract Cheating Unions help seafarers understand their contracts, preventing any misunderstandings or fraudulent practices related to employment agreements.
Ship Detainment Unions provide support to seafarers in cases where their vessels are detained due to regulatory or safety issues, helping to navigate legal complexities.
Officer Jailed In cases where officers face legal troubles while on duty, unions offer legal assistance and advocate for their rights and fair treatment.
Seafarer Death Unions support the families of seafarers who tragically lose their lives while at sea, assisting with legal matters and ensuring they receive appropriate compensation.
CDC (Continuous Discharge Certificate) Related Problems Unions assist with the issuance and renewal of CDCs, a vital document for seafarers, to ensure they can continue working at sea.
Medical Benefits Unions work to secure access to quality healthcare services for seafarers, including medical insurance and assistance in case of illness or injury.
Support for Families Unions extend support to the families of seafarers, both emotionally and financially, during their loved one’s absence at sea.
Other Problems Unions address a wide array of additional concerns, such as working conditions, training, career advancement, and adherence to international maritime regulations.


Membership fees of MUI

The membership fees for the Maritime Union of India (MUI) are as follows:

  • Joining Fee (One-Time): 2,300 rupees
  • Annual Membership Fee: 1,800 rupees per year
  • Certificate of Competency (COC) Protection Fee: 200 rupees per year

These fees are essential for maintaining MUI membership and ensuring the protection and support of seafarers’ interests and rights within the maritime industry.

Merchant Navy

Eligibility of medical benefits in MUI 

Eligibility for Medical Benefits in MUI Description
On-Ship Onboard Duties for One Month An officer is eligible for 10 days of medical support while they are ashore after signing off.
Parents and Sibling Coverage Parents and siblings are not covered in the scheme.
Medical Treatment Support during MOT/COC Exam Period An officer appearing for their MOT (Management Level) or COC (Certificate of Competency) exam may be eligible for medical treatment support extended for up to 10 months.

Medical benefits covered by MUI

Covered Medical Benefits Maximum Coverage Amount (Per Year)
General Medicine Treatment 8,000 INR
Maternity (Twin Delivery) Up to 50,000 INR
Miscarriage/Abortion Up to 50,000 INR
Prolonged Illness or Disease Up to 50,000 INR
Examples: Blood Pressure, Diabetes, Heart Ailment, etc.  
Dental Treatment (Including Extraction of Teeth) 10,000 INR
Surgical Operations Up to 10,000 INR
Gum Treatment Up to 10,000 INR
Day Care Treatment (e.g., Eye Cataract) Up to 35,000 INR
Major Surgical Treatment Up to 5,00,000 INR
Examples: Open/Close Heart Surgery, Angioplasty, Heart Valve Replacement, Kidney Transplantation, Neurosurgery, Orthopedic Surgery, Blood Cancer Treatment  

Medical benefits not covered 

  • Periodic medical checkups are not considered 
  • Treatment for infertility is excluded
  • Vision tests, laser eye vision correction, contact lenses, and spectacles will not considered 

Other facilities provided by Maritime Union of India

Other Facilities and Support by MUI Description
Community Support System MUI offers a robust community support system for seafarers and their families, providing assistance during challenging times.
Guest House Facilities for Foreign Flag Companies MUI provides guest house facilities to accommodate seafarers working for foreign flag companies at various locations:

Members of the Maritime Union of India can access these guest house facilities at reasonable rates, ensuring comfortable and convenient stays during work transitions or leisure periods. These facilities reflect MUI’s commitment to enhancing the well-being of seafarers and providing essential support services.

Improvements Needed at MUI

MUI Logo
  1. Lack of Awareness and Visibility
  2. Limited Online Booking for Guest Visits
  3. Manual Insurance Claims Processing
  4. Offline Election Process
  5. Limited Social Media Presence

The solution to these problems

What is the Maritime Union of India? 

  • Promote Benefits: MUI should actively promote its benefits and services to a broader audience of seafarers. This can be achieved through enhanced marketing efforts, including the use of social media and digital advertising.
  • Online Presence: Establish a stronger online presence by creating and maintaining an informative website and regularly updating social media platforms. This will help reach seafarers more effectively, especially those who are tech-savvy and use social media.

Guest Booking and Communication

  • Online Booking: Allow seafarers to book guest visits online, making the process more convenient and accessible. This change can streamline the guest booking process and accommodate seafarers from regions outside Mumbai.
  • Improved Communication: Enhance communication channels for guest bookings, including online options and dedicated helplines for inquiries.

Digitalization of Insurance Claims

  • Online Claims: Transition to an online system for insurance claims processing, providing a more efficient and user-friendly experience for seafarers. This will expedite the claims process and reduce paperwork.

Online Election Process

  • Digital Voting: Implement an online election process to allow MUI members to participate in elections remotely. This change will increase participation and ensure a more inclusive electoral process.

Social Media Engagement

  • Active Social Media: Increase activity and engagement on social media platforms. Regularly share updates, news, and relevant information to keep members informed and engaged.
  • Online Forums: Create online forums or discussion groups where seafarers can connect, share experiences, and seek advice. This can foster a sense of community among members.

By embracing digitalization and expanding its online presence, MUI can better serve the needs of seafarers and ensure that its benefits and services are more accessible and widely known. These changes can lead to increased participation, awareness, and engagement among seafarers, ultimately strengthening the union’s effectiveness in representing their interests.


Indian Seafarers
  • The Maritime Union of India (MUI) stands as a vital institution dedicated to safeguarding the rights and well-being of seafarers in India. Through its array of membership benefits, including medical coverage, guest house facilities, and community support, MUI plays a pivotal role in enhancing the lives of those who navigate the challenges of the maritime industry.
  • While MUI has made significant strides, there is room for improvement, particularly in areas such as raising awareness, expanding online services, and modernizing election processes. As the maritime sector evolves, so too must the union that represents its workforce.
  • With continued efforts, MUI can further empower seafarers, ensuring that they receive the support, protection, and representation they deserve. By addressing these challenges and embracing reform, MUI can remain a cornerstone of support for seafarers and their families in the ever-changing maritime landscape

Wanna know about the Qualities of Seafarer: Check out this post

What is the Directorate General of Shipping? Refer to this 


Disclaimer :- The opinions expressed in this article belong solely to the author and may not necessarily reflect those of Merchant Navy Decoded. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information provided and disclaim any responsibility for it. Data and visuals used are sourced from publicly available information and may not be authenticated by any regulatory body. Reviews and comments appearing on our blogs represent the opinions of individuals and do not necessarily reflect the views of Merchant Navy Decoded. We are not responsible for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on these reviews or comments.

Reproduction, copying, sharing, or use of the article or images in any form is strictly prohibited without prior permission from both the author and Merchant Navy Decoded.

5 2 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments