Seafarers International Union coronavirus update

Today, in response to the coronavirus pandemic, the Seafarers International Union (SIU) announced the following steps:

Hiring Halls

Effective March 23, hiring halls will be closed until further notice. This coincides with a 30-day suspension of routine crew reliefs (more details on reliefs are linked below). However, seafarers can still reach the halls by phone during regular business hours.


Effective March 23, SIU headquarters in Camp Springs, Md., will operate with a skeleton crew. No visitors will be allowed to enter the building without an appointment. The SIU intends to continue processing claims, pension checks and vacation applications. It is recommended that all seafarers and retirees that have not already signed up for direct deposit should do so at this time.

SIU’s membership assistance department will be open, as will other departments including the communications office.

April Membership Meetings

Per executive board action, there will be no April membership meetings.

No decisions have been made concerning the May meetings.

Paul Hall Center/Lundeberg School/Piney Point

The school on March 13 cancelled upcoming classes. Students already at the school and already taking classes have the option of remaining there and finishing. A couple of larger classes as well as some modular ones are wrapping up today, March 20.

As with headquarters, the school is taking extra steps to temporarily encourage telework, practice social distancing, and perform extra sanitation steps. Members are asked to hold off on applying for courses until further notice.

Adoption of New Guidelines for Shipboard Preventive Actions to Coronavirus Exposure

The union and American Maritime Association (AMA) companies have adopted procedures. As indicated in the document, these steps will be revisited at least weekly and adjusted as needed.

SAB Suspends Certain Shipping Rules

The Seafarers Appeals Board adopted this action (click HERE) in order to facilitate many of the aforementioned steps.

Extension of Mariner Credentials

The National Maritime Center on March 19 announced a number of extensions as well as REC closures.

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