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New “Dockers Clause” in the International Bargaining Forum agreements to come into force in 6 months

07 Jun 2019
Press Release
Joint press release from the Joint Negotiations Group and the International Transport Workers' Federation.

The Joint Negotiating Group (JNG) of maritime employers and the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) strongly urge companies to ensure that they are in full compliance with the upcoming changes to the terms and conditions which will affect ships’ cargo handling operations in ports.

The parties refer to the Collective Bargaining Agreement that was agreed at the last International Bargaining Forum (IBF) negotiations in February 2018, effective 1 January 2019 and which applies to all IBF vessels operating worldwide with the exception of the “Dockers Clause” which will take effect from 1 January 2020.

The amended “Dockers Clause” lay out procedures for loading and unloading operations in port which better safeguard the ship’s crew and the dockers’ right to do the work.

Upon reaching a settlement in 2018, the parties to the IBF acknowledged that the new “Dockers Clause” might require a substantial change to existing arrangements with stevedoring companies, charterers and other third parties. Therefore, a deferment period, no longer than 1 January 2020, was agreed for implementing certain provisions of the respective CBA article for container vessels operating in the following areas; Baltic Sea, Canada, North Europe and West Europe excluding Mediterranean Sea (European sub-regions as defined by the European Union).

Both parties have continuously reminded the respective companies of the upcoming change to the IBF requirements in the “Dockers Clause” and strongly encourage those companies affected to take concrete action to ensure that they are compliant come 1 January 2020.

About the IBF
The IBF was formed in 2003 as a mechanism for collective bargaining between maritime employers and maritime unions over the wages and conditions of employment for seafarers serving on foreign flag ships covered by ITF Special Agreements.

Maritime employers are represented by the International Maritime Employers’ Council (IMEC), the International Shipping Employers' Group (ISEG) which incorporates the International Maritime Managers’ Association of Japan (IMMAJ) and the Taiwanese company Evergreen, and the Korean Shipowners' Association.

Together they form the Joint Negotiating Group (JNG) which allows maritime employers to present to the ITF a coordinated view of employers from across the world.

The International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) is a democratic global union federation of 670 transport workers trade unions representing 18.5 million workers in 147 countries, including maritime affiliates that represent in excess of 600,000 seafarers.

The IBF negotiations include both central negotiations and local negotiations which allow for development of core principles which can then be incorporated into specific local arrangements. This unique approach to pay negotiations is the only example of international collective bargaining.

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1 year 7 months ago

Why is the Mediterranean excluded?