Paddy Crumlin, National Secretary of the MUA and President of the International Transport Workers Federation, and the Australian Maritime Officers Union (AMOU) issued the following joint statement on the day the Maritime Labour Convention came into force across the globe:
The coming into force of the MLC in August 2013 represents a significant leap forward in the global trade union campaign to improve the labour rights and labour standards of seafarers. It consolidates the rights if seafarers to:
* A safe and secure workplace
* Fair terms of employment
* Decent living and working conditions
* Social protection – access to medical care, health protection and welfare
* Freedom of association.
It is particularly important in the Asia Pacific region, which supplies the majority of the world’s seafarers and where the bulk of global sea trade is concentrated.
The MLC complements the successful campaigns to retain and extend cabotage in nations like Australia, Indonesia and PNG. It will underpin new seafarer employment opportunities on the back of growth of the offshore oil and gas industries in nations such as PNG, Timor Leste, New Zealand and Australia. The establishment of an Australian International Shipping Register (AISR) will be enhanced by key provisions in the MLC, addressing seafarer qualifications, recruitment and placement agencies standards, work agreements, accommodation standards, dispute settlement procedures, health and safety and payment of seafarer entitlements.
The MLC is a key plank in the global shipping regulatory framework designed to secure the future of a high quality and competitive shipping industry - the other key planks being the global collective agreement arising from the International Bargaining Forum (IBF), the coming into force of the Manila amendments to the STCW Convention, the IMO initiatives to reduce greenhouse emissions from ships and action on piracy - all of which are enforced through the ITFs successful FOC/POC campaign.
It is creates the 4th pillar of global maritime regulation alongside the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), 1974, the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) and the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973, as modified by the Protocol of 1978 relating thereto and by the Protocol of 1997( MARPOL ).