Magazine article European Social Policy

MARITIME LABOURaSTANDARDS : SOCIAL PARTNERS TO CONSIDER COLLECTIVE AGREEMENT

Magazine article European Social Policy

MARITIME LABOURaSTANDARDS : SOCIAL PARTNERS TO CONSIDER COLLECTIVE AGREEMENT

Article excerpt

The EU social partners are to consider scope for integrating the consolidated Maritime Labour Convention of 2006 into EU law. A European Commission Communication on enhancing maritime labour standards, due to be adopted on 15 June, invites them to do so and likewise suggests that they consider negotiating a social agreement. The Commission will also table a proposal for a Decision authorising member states to ratify this same Convention.

UNIVERSAL CODE

The consolidated Convention on Maritime Labour was adopted in February by the International Labour Organisation (ILO). It is a major text bringing together and adapting Conventions on maritime labour adopted by the ILO since 1919. it contains provisions on working time and rest periods, accommodation, catering, health protection, medical care, social security, etc. It represents something of a first draft of a universal maritime labour code which might enter into force relatively quickly(1).

Since certain of the Convention's articles concern areas where the EU has exclusive competence - provisions on the coordination of social security schemes and port state control - a Council Decision authorising ratification by the member states is needed. The Commission proposes that a deadline for ratification be set for 31 December 2008.

Among other provisions, the Convention provides for maritime certificates issued by the State to ships flying its flag, following verification that working conditions on board meet national laws and regulations stemming from the Convention. This system of certification might also be subject to port state control with scope for the inspection and impounding of ships where appropriate. At EU level, such inspections are currently only possible regarding safety or environmentalashortcomings and not in relation to non-compliance with social provisions. …

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