ITF Calls for Equal Recognition for Mariners (8/11)

 

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The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), to which the SIU is affiliated, has posted the following news item, dated August 11. To access the article on the ITF site, click HERE

 

ITF call for equal recognition for seafarers

 

The work of seafarers must be given the same recognition as any other category of worker regardless of where their vessels are registered. That was a key message delivered by the ITF at an event for seafarers and their families recently.

 

Speaking at the first international seafarers’ families’ convention in Manila on 4 and 5 August, ITF Assistant General Secretary Stuart Howard thanked seafarers and their families for the contribution made to seafaring and highlighted the important role seafarers played in moving cargo around the world.

 

He also delivered a message from ITF President Paddy Crumlin, which said that the status of seafarers had to be considered to be equal to that of other workers, regardless of the flag of the ship on which they worked. Their frontline role in servicing the global community also needed to be acknowledged. If these things did not happen, it would be unlikely that their demands would be given a fair hearing. Other key messages focused on the importance of governments signing on with the Maritime Labor Convention (MLC 2006), the Seafarers Bill of Rights and International Labor Organization Convention 185 on seafarers’ identity documents.

 

Also present at the event was Rosalinda Baldoz, secretary of the department of labor and employment, who delivered a speech on behalf of President Aquino. She wished to assure the ITF that the Philippines government was in the process of signing Convention 185 and had also started the process of tripartite discussion on MLC 2006, which she said was “close to her heart” and which she hoped would be signed by the end of the year.

 

The convention was organized by Marissa Oca, daughter of the late Captain Gregorio Oca of the ITF-affiliated Associated Marine Officers’ and Seamen’s Union of the Philippines and the Gig Foundation, an organization promoting relationships among and within seafarer families. The event welcomed 1,350 delegates and was supported by the ITF Seafarers’ Trust through the International Committee on Seafarers’ Welfare.

 

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