Monday, September 9, 2013

Unions Ensure Fair Treatment for Seafarers under Maritime Labour Convention

East Asia's Turn for Scrutiny at Sea Ports
Shipping News Feature

ASIA – WORLDWIDE – A year ago we wrote of the acceptance of the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC), the rules to govern employment aboard vessels after it was finally adopted by the necessary majority of nations, and from last month the rules are giving the unions more power to ensure that states abide by the terms which ensure fair treatment for seafarers. Details of the convention can be seen in that earlier article but, even as it was accepted in principal, the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) was on the case.

Then, a year ago this week, we detailed how the ITF was running a campaign to ensure shipping in the Baltic Sea ports were adhering to the required terms and now, with full ratification achieved, it is the turn of those further east with the commencement today (9th September) of the third East Asia maritime action week of 2013 to get under way at major ports in Japan, Korea, Russia and Taiwan.

The procedure runs to the end of this week (13th September) and during the programme it joint inspection teams will check and enforce decent pay and working conditions on board vessels. They will also be promoting the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (MLC) to crew members. ITF Japan coordinator Fusao Ohori commented:

“With the MLC 2006 now in force we are committed to explaining to seafarers what it means for them. We know that seafarers who are suffering difficulties are eager to know their rights and how to resolve problems using its complaint procedures.”