Today, Denmark has ratified a new UN Convention ensuring seafarers globally proper working conditions. The Convention is the so-called Maritime Labour Convention (MLC), and it is an important step forward for global quality shipping.
Shipping companies in the countries that have acceded to the MLC will, in the future, be obliged to ensure the seafarers reasonable working conditions. The Convention covers all aspects of seafarers’ conditions of employment, from the conclusion of employment contracts over the seafarer’s right to a free journey home, occupational health and to social security. In addition, the MLC requires a systematic control that all requirements are complied with.
“With the new Convention, the seafarers’ rights are improved globally, and that is a benefit for us here in Denmark. Here, we are good at ensuring decent working conditions and we strive for high quality in all respects”, says Deputy Director-General of the Danish Maritime Authority Birgit Sølling Olsen.
Difficult for countries outside the MLC
The Convention takes into account the global nature of shipping. All seafarers, irrespective of nationality, will benefit from the new regulations.
Shipping companies from countries that do not ratify the MLC will, when the Convention enters into force, in reality be prevented from doing international shipping. The provisions of the MLC thereby hinder social dumping where shipping companies compete on poor working conditions. Thus, the Convention is an important step towards furthering quality shipping globally and, consequently, an advantage for Danish shipping, which already today is operated at a high level as regards the conditions of employment and social security. In other words, the Convention ensures equal global competitive conditions and, at the same time, reasonable conditions for the seafarers.
The Convention has been incorporated into Danish law in close cooperation between the Danish Maritime Authority and the two sides of industry. The Danish regulations will enter into force when the Convention enters into force internationally. It is expected that this will be the case within the next couple of years.
Source: DMA, June 24, 2011.