The global shipping industry navigates under a new rule
A new “Charter of Rights” – the ILO Maritime Labor Convention – comes into force, guaranteeing protection for 1.5 million sailors worldwide and fair competition conditions for shipowners.
GENEVA (ILO News) – The Convenio sobre el trabajo marítimo of the International Labor Organization enters into force on August 20, 2013, inaugurating a new era of decent work for sailors and fair conditions of competition for shipowners in the global shipping industry.
“This Convention is a landmark in maritime history,” said ILO Director General Guy Ryder. “It is the result of tripartite dialogue and international cooperation, which facilitates the impulse of decent working conditions and life of sailors, as well as fair conditions for shipowners in the most globalized industries.”
“I ask all countries with maritime interests to ratify it – if they have not yet done so – and urge governments and ship owners to work effectively to apply this Convention,” Ryder added.
The new Convention becomes binding under international law on August 20. For its entry into force, it was necessary to ratify 30 member States of the ILO, representing more than 33 percent of the gross tonnage of the world merchant fleet. To date, they have ratified the Convention more than 45 Member States of the ILO which represent more than 70 percent of the gross tonnage of the world merchant fleet.
The Convention has the full support of the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF), which represents the sailors, and the International Shipowners Federation (ISF), which played a key role during the five years of its development and in the adoption of the Convention during an extraordinary session of the International Labor Conference in 2006.
The MLC, 2006 also has the support of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), which oversees the global maritime transport sector, responsible for more than 90 percent of world trade. The European Union adopted the necessary directives to give effect to the Convention, while Paris MOU and Tokyo MOU – regional organizations of state control of ports – have adopted guidelines in accordance with the MLC, 2006 to strengthen state port control inspections.
“The entry into force of the MLC 2006 is a unique event in the history of international maritime labor law,” said Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry, Director of the Department of International Labor Standards of the ILO. “It is now up to all to ensure that ratification and legal application are translated into legislation and in practice, so that seafarers can truly benefit from the protection of the Convention and that shipowners that comply with the decent work requirements of the Convention may enjoy the benefits it offers. ”
“It is also urgent to ensure that the ILO member states with maritime interests ratify the Convention,” said Doumbia-Henry. “The ILO will continue to work with governments, with the organizations of the seamen and the shipowners and with other important actors in the maritime industry to contribute to the achievement of the objectives of the MLC, 2006.”
The Convention meets in a single instrument the minimum international standards to guarantee decent work for sailors and, at the same time, help to provide equitable rules of play for quality shipowners operating under the flag of the countries that have ratified the MLC , 2006, by promoting competitiveness through reliable and secure maritime transport. The objective is to ensure that decent working conditions go hand in hand with fair competition.
* On August 20, 2013 the MLC, 2006 will enter into force and become binding under international law for the first 30 countries with ratification registered on August 20, 2012. For all other countries that have ratified it, it will enter into force 12 months after their ratification has been registered.