Jacqueline Smith and Francesco Gargiulo

ITF and IMEC celebrate 14 years of partnership

The ITF and IMEC (the International Maritime Employers’ Council) hosted their first ever joint public event in London, UK yesterday to share the lessons learnt during 14 years of working together. The meeting, Sustainable Partnerships in Shipping, brought together leading figures from across the world of seafaring and shipping to hear about the history – and the future – of cooperation between the two organisations.

Jacqueline Smith, ITF maritime coordinator, and Francesco Gargiulo, IMEC CEO, helmed the presentation, which was staged as an important part of London International Shipping Week.

Together, they explained how the ITF and IMEC have worked together in partnership since 2003 to resolve problems, set standards, and improve conditions for those working at sea. The organisations are two of the pillars of the International Bargaining Forum, a unique body designed to ensure that shipping is profitable, safe and fair.

“What we’ve seen in the last 14 years is that the relationship has matured,” Ms Smith said, “It has grown since we first decided that instead of just unilaterally setting a wage we would go forward through social dialogue, because that would be a more sustainable way to move forward at a genuinely international level.

“The results are there for everyone to see, in everything from consultation and cooperation to training, and – always close to our heart – the welfare of seafarers. We look forward to 2018 and the fifteenth year of this continuing partnership.”

Mr Gargiulo spoke with pride of the training and cadet programmes that the partnership had enabled, and announced a new engine rating project in the Philippines that will be open to young people from underprivileged backgrounds.

Explaining the philosophy behind IMEC’s involvement in the partnership, he stated: “From the start we were proud to represent the healthy part of shipping, the part that wanted a sustainable relationship with the unions. Since those beginnings we have grown and grown. We have recorded a 69 percent increase in members since 2010 alone. Eleven thousand vessels are now owned or managed by IMEC members, employing 294,000 seafarers from 68 different nationalities.”

To find out more about how the ITF and IMEC work together, visit


Add your comment

All comments


450 Days Ago
Same as the below message. Our wages been same.
Report comment


451 Days Ago
Very strange! I sent the following message some days ago and it was published. However after some days it was deleted from this page. Is this transparency? :"Nice work! Seafarers income under the agreements of this alliance have reduced by 30-40%.
Report comment