The United Services Union (ver.di) sharply criticizes the fact that numerous shipowners and charterers are committing breaches of wages and contracts by failing to implement a collective agreement concluded by the international social partners or even declaring that they do not comply with the applicable contract.
The background to this is the IBF collective agreement of February 2018 between the international trade union federation ITF (International Transport Workers 'Federation) and the international employers' association IMEC (International Maritime Employers Council), which regulates, among other things, that cargo securing work on seagoing ships has to be carried out by seafarers in ports worldwide. At the express request of employers, a transition period for Europe and Canada was agreed until January 1, 2020 to facilitate implementation there.
Since January 1, 2020, all cargo securing work (brackets) must also be carried out by port employees on tariff-bound ships in Europe and Canada. The focus in Europe is on the supply traffic at sea, the so-called feeder traffic. So far, in addition to their extensive tasks at sea, the seafarers on feeder ships have taken on this physically demanding and dangerous work during their rest periods, sometimes even while sailing, which is prohibited in Germany. This procedure is seriously hazardous to safety and the environment and is contrary to occupational safety, health protection and ship safety. ver.di calls on politicians to ensure that the port authorities,
“We have taken up the suggestion of the politicians to solve the problem at the level of the social partners and are not accepting this breach of contract. The anti-social and greedy behavior of shipowners and charterers must be stopped, ”emphasizes Robert Hengster, responsible for the maritime economy at ver.di.
Shipowners and charterers had been given an almost two-year transition period for the implementation of the modified "Dockers' clause". Most companies would have missed this deadline and played for time or declared that they would not meet the existing contract. With this breach of tariffs and contracts, most feeder shipowners would gain a cost advantage over their contractually loyal competitors.
Currently, this breach of tariffs has led to UNIFEEDER, as the largest market participant in Europe, announcing on January 22, 2020 that it will again be possible to have cargo securing carried out by seafarers in the future - apparently under pressure from shipping companies such as X-Press, Mann Lines, Eimskip, Samskip and NCL who have not followed the agreement from the start.
The European and Canadian unions of port workers have decided to fight this practice together with their umbrella organizations ITF and ETF. Companies are asked to comply with the collective agreement and to stop violations immediately.