Maritime Labour Convention comes onto force tomorrow

The maritime union, RMT, has welcomed the belated coming into force of the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (MLC) tomorrow – 20th August. The union believes that this new legislation has the potential to make a genuine difference to the lives of seafarers.

The RMT statement says:

‘Among the advantages that the MLC offers are:

  • The potential to stop blacklisting and charging for jobs by some manning agents;
  • The recognition of all crew – including hospitality crew on international cruise ships – as seafarers, who will now all get the same protections;
  • Enhanced checks by port state control, including of pay problems such as double book-keeping; and
  • The establishment of welfare facilities in ports, and of on-ship safety committees.

‘RMT general secretary Bob Crow said that blacklisting and social dumping had blighted the maritime sector for decades and the convention created the possibility to finally turn the tide in favour of seafarers as long as it is rigorously enforced and policed.”This new legislation must be used to challenge the right of shipowners to exploit workers in their endless pursuit of profit regardless of the human cost it brings,” he said.

‘International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) president Paddy Crumlin commented: “The MLC represents a significant leap forward in the global trade union campaign to improve the labour rights and labour standards of seafarers. It is a true watershed in international shipping, which adds the pillar of workers’ rights to existing standards of safety, security and crew standards.” ‘

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