The ITF helps affiliated unions improve working conditions for all seafarers.
Our role is to:
- make sure the shipping industry is regulated effectively
- attack substandard shipping and help crews, regardless of their nationality or the flag of the ship
- offer support, advice and information to workers
To bring about these industry-wide changes and make our unions stronger, we:
- work with international agencies such as the International Labour Organisation, the International Maritime Organization and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development to assist seafarers around the world
- Support the network of more than 150 ITF inspectors and contacts who go on board vessels to report on working conditions
- support affiliates to sign ITF-approved collective agreements for [flags of convenience ships](link to FOC page). These specify minimum conditions of employment for crews, including wages
- ensure affiliates take democratic control and ownership of ITF policies and share useful information with seafarers and their unions
Flags of convenience
The ITF opposes the flags of convenience (FOC) system. This system allows ship owners to register their ships under foreign flags, avoiding taxation and regulations imposed by their own countries. FOC vessels have a high percentage of casualties and port state control detentions. There is little or no control over ship owners by FOC states.
The ITF works to ensure the established standards are met and seafarers are informed about their rights under ITF approved collective agreements.