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HomeFlags of Convenience campaign > Mexico City Policy

Mexico City Policy

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Mexico City Policy

At the ITF’s 41st congress in Durban in August 2006, the decision was made to carry out a thorough and systematic review of the flags of convenience (FOC) campaign. The last FOC policy review, culminating in the Delhi policy, was completed in 1998 on the 50th anniversary of the campaign. With this latest review the affiliates wanted to take the FOC campaign to a new level, fit for the challenges of the twenty-first century.

That determination was born because in the period since 1998 there had been so many changes, both internally and externally. The FOC campaign had seen the birth of the International Bargaining Forum (IBF) and with it a new era for international wage bargaining. At the same time the FOC inspectorate almost doubled in size and was better trained, better equipped and better coordinated than ever before. Furthermore, a new ITF campaign against ports of convenience (POC) had been launched.

Meanwhile, the shipping industry had experienced some dramatic changes, with huge advances in technology, faster cargo handling, bigger ships, more complex ownership structures, shifting employment trends and significant legal developments.

As a consequence, this review process was more rigorous than ever before. Over four years an elected group of ITF maritime leaders examined every aspect of the campaign, including policies, strategies, processes and structures. Views were gathered from affiliated maritime unions. Every issue was discussed and debated at length. In some cases there were opposing views and it sometimes seemed that consensus would not be possible. But throughout the process those involved showed an unswerving commitment to take the campaign forward, and worked extremely hard to reach a compromise, even on the most contentious issues.

The result of this review was finally presented to the ITF’s 42nd congress in Mexico City in August 2010, and all the recommendations and conclusions were adopted, including a new FOC policy: the Mexico City policy.

This policy is the backbone of the FOC campaign, and sets out its aims and objectives, its core principles and values and the policies and procedures that govern how it operates. The changes that have been made bring the campaign firmly into the twenty-first century, while keeping true to its core values. It brings the interests of workers to the forefront and it takes the concept of solidarity – which is at the heart of the campaign, the ITF and the trade union movement as a whole – and lifts it to new heights.

David Cockroft
ITF general secretary

Stephen Cotton
ITF maritime coordinator

David Heindel
ITF seafarers’ section chair

Paddy Crumlin
ITF president and dockers’ section chair


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Copyright © 2012 ITF
ITF House, 49-60 Borough Road, London SE1 1DR  |  +44 20 7403 2733   |  mail@itf.org.uk
Copyright © 2012 ITF
ITF House, 49-60 Borough Road, London SE1 1DR  |  +44 20 7403 2733   |  mail@itf.org.uk