European Union research into the impact of the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC)

Circular No: NP/122/15


HO ref: S5/05/01/15

8th July 2015

Dear Colleagues

European Union research into the impact of the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC)
Further to Circular No. NP/0210/13 of 20th August 2013, the union has been asked by the ETF to circulate an online survey of seafarers on the impact of the MLC since it came into force on 20th August 2013.

The MLC is a set of minimum and enforceable international rights for seafarers. In the UK, the MLC made only a small number of administrative changes that would affect UK ratings working in the shipping industry, mainly around individual Seafarer Employment Agreements (SEAs) which replaced crewing agreements and entitlement to free repatriation at the end of a voyage. SEAs are also required by seafarers employed or recruited to work on ships by recruitment agencies.
The online MLC Survey is available here:

I would urge all RMT seafarers to complete the survey, so that any new or existing experiences and/or concerns you have on the MLC at work are taken into account in the survey’s findings.

RMT seafarers’ responses will also provide the basis for the union’s further work at European and international level on proposing reform of the MLC, should members want to amend it. The MLC is an International Labour Organisation Convention and amendments to it can be proposed by Government.

I will keep you informed of further developments around the MLC and it would be appreciated if you could bring the content of this circular to the attention of all members in your Branch.

Yours sincerely
Mick Cash
General Secretary