Maersk signals way forward on ITF agreements on charters

Shipping giant Maersk has agreed that it will ensure that any vessel it charters has an ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation) or similar agreement – which puts in place protections for crews on flag of convenience ships – covering it.

The company already has collective bargaining agreements covering its directly owned fleet, said a statement from the ITF. Maersk Group vessels (owned or chartered) total around 500 ships.

ITF maritime coordinator Jacqueline Smith applauded the company’s pledge.

“This is welcome news,” she said in the ITF statement. “It shows that Maersk Group is reaching for high standards and behaving in a responsible and praiseworthy manner.”

“This closes a circle that has been kept open by, in some cases, vessel providers who have told Maersk they have agreements on board when we know they haven’t,” she added.

The news from the company was announced at a meeting of the ITF Maersk network (which is made up of seafarers’ and dockers’ unions with members based on vessels or in ports operated directly or indirectly by the Maersk Group) in Copenhagen, Denmark.

That meeting reflected the ITF Maersk network’s commitment to positive engagement with the company, and included attendance at the company’s AGM.

“It’s in everyone’s interests for Maersk and the ITF to have a positive relationship. Millions of the transport workers represented by our unions work for Maersk directly or via subsidiary companies and we are committed to making sure they have decent terms and conditions. As a key industry player we think Maersk wants that too, which is why good faith open dialogue is the only thing that makes sense moving forward,” Smith concluded.



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