Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Largest Container Shipping Line Agrees Flag of Convenience Crew Deal on Charters

Major Logistics Player Once Again Shows Responsibility Toward Staff
Shipping News Feature
DENMARK – WORLDWIDE – Maersk, owners of the largest container shipping line in the world and with a host of subsidiary companies in several related logistics sectors, always looks toward good relations with, and conditions for, its staff, and now a new agreement with global unions has once again demonstrated this. Whilst the company already has collective bargaining agreements covering its directly-owned fleet it has now agreed to extend this to include any vessel it charters.

The agreement reached means in future Maersk will ensure that any vessel it charters has an International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) or similar agreement, which results in employment protections for crews on flag of convenience ships. These vessels are utilised by many companies globally which know they can trade whilst paying lower wages than with a native crew and often means substandard living and working conditions for their employees.

The ITF is attending the A.P. Møller Mærsk A/S Annual General Meeting which is taking place today in Copenhagen and news of the new deal was announced in a recent meeting in that city of the ITF Maersk network, made up of seafarers’ and dockers unions with members based on some of the 500 plus vessels, or in ports, each operated directly or indirectly by the Maersk Group. ITF Maritime Coordinator Jacqueline Smith applauded the company’s pledge saying:

“This is welcome news, it shows that Maersk Group is reaching for high standards and behaving in a responsible and praiseworthy manner. This closes a circle that has been kept open by, in some cases, vessel providers who have told Maersk they have agreements on board when we know they haven’t.

”It’s in everyone’s interests for Maersk and the ITF to have a positive relationship. Millions of the transport workers represented by our unions work for Maersk directly or via subsidiary companies and we are committed to making sure they have decent terms and conditions. As a key industry player we think Maersk wants that too, which is why good faith open dialogue is the only thing that makes sense moving forward.”