Day of the Seafarer

Day of the Seafarer

25 June 2022

RMT Press Office:

SEAFARER Union RMT today issued a call for reform to the United National Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) on the International Maritime Organisation's Day of the Seafarer, theme of which is 'Your voyage.'

RMT General Secretary, Mick Lynch, said: "My Union pays tribute to the world's seafarers, particularly our members who are part of a global workforce of 1 million Ratings - they are shipping's backbone. 

"The crew change crisis may have abated but employers continue to press down on terms and conditions of employment, using UNCLOS to protect these outdated and abusive practices, as P&O Ferries grotesquely demonstrated. 

"Whether a seafarer's voyage occurs in the deep sea, short sea ferry or offshore energy sector, trade unions must ensure that they are directly employed and covered by standards well above the Maritime Labour Convention. 

"Container lines and other operators are recording enormous profits and paying out billions of dollars in dividends, yet shipowners even reserve the right to charge seafarers for internet access on the ships where they work and are forced to live. 

"This year, we are calling for a real sea change through reform of UNCLOS to ensure that seafarers' jobs and working conditions are protected by collective bargaining agreements which reflect local economies and apply beyond the territorial water limit."

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