Improvements for seafarers

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Ongoing international negotiations between maritime employers and the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) have resulted in improvements in seafarers’ working conditions despite the current economic downturn.

Sixty delegates from 17 countries representing international maritime employers and the ITF, known as the International Bargaining Forum (IBF), met in Manila, Philippines, on 1 October to discuss wages and employment conditions affecting seafarers working on flag of convenience ships.

Members of the IBF finally agreed to release substantial funds to enhance recruitment, training, skills, employment promotion and career development for seafarers with effect from 1 January 2010. Negotiations relating to pay claims have been put on hold whilst a working group looks at wage increases for officers and ratings in 2010.

Paddy Crumlin, ITF spokesperson, said: “The negotiations have been particularly difficult this time given the economic situation faced by the industry and the serious problems this has caused for many of our members. But the IBF system has been able to cope with these strains and the outcome provides further positive developments on which we can build our relationships that are essential to the industry.”

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