A Global Seafarers Bill of Rights: It's On!

Today marks a new day for seafarers' rights. The Maritime Labour Convention comes into force on this day, and sets out a whole series of standards aimed at making sure seafarers have a decent place to work.

To coincide with this moment, Paddy Crumlin, National Secretary of the MUA and President of the International Transport Workers Federation released a joint statement with the Australian Maritime Officers Union (AMOU).

The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Anthony Albanese and The Minister for Workplace Relations, Bill Shorten also released a joint statement to mark the coming into force of the historic Maritime Labour Convention.

You can also see this sparkling video featuring Paddy Crumlin and Steve Cotton, acting general secretary of the ITF. It tells it all in a very short film.

The Convention is comprehensive and sets out, in one place, seafarers' rights to decent working conditions. It covers almost every aspect of their work and life on board including:

  • minimum age
  • seafarers’ employment agreements
  • hours of work or rest
  • payment of wages
  • paid annual leave
  • repatriation at the end of contract
  • onboard medical care
  • the use of licensed private recruitment and placement services
  • accommodation, food and catering
  • health and safety protection and accident prevention and
  • seafarers’ complaint handling

The International Transport Workers Federation has a webpage to facilitate discussion about the MLC.

For more details on the MLC, the International Labour Organization has this page filled with all the facts.