The ITF Offshore Task Force Group has concluded a two-day meeting in Split, Croatia.
The group was formed as a stand-alone body in 1997 and is chaired by Norrie McVicar, previously chair of its predecessor group in the ITF.
Originally formed with the participation of US and Mexican trade unions to protect the rights of offshore workers in the Gulf of Mexico, the group has expanded to include unions representing offshore workers around the world and support them in their efforts to develop collective bargaining. Delegates at the Split meeting also came from Asia Pacific and European unions.
Danilo Prestint of the Seafarers Union of Croatia, which hosted the meeting, explains that the group's aims are identical to those of the ITF campaign against flag of convenience ships – to work for the introduction of ITF acceptable agreements to ensure decent working and living conditions for those working in this industry. To this end, the group works to organise unorganised workers in the offshore oil and gas sector, prevent social dumping, encourage collective bargaining and freedom of union organisation, and ensure conditions of employment in accordance with the ITF.
Maritime Union of Australia Deputy National Secretary and Offshore Task Force Deputy Chair Mick Doleman said: "The group continues to strongly represent workers. The success of the ITF offshore taskforce group is heavily underpinned by the co-operation of the Australian affiliates – the MUA and AWU - working together with MUNZ and the EPMU, where we have worked solidly together to protect offshore workers across the Asia Pacific region."