The Maritime Union of New Zealand has welcomed the ratification of the Maritime Labour Convention by the New Zealand Government.
The Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (MLC) is an international treaty adopted by the International Labour Organisation and lays out minimum rights for seafarers and promotes good employment practices across the shipping industry.
The MLC will enter into force for New Zealand on 9 March 2017, and will apply to about 890 foreign commercial cargo and cruise ships visiting New Zealand annually, and about 30 New Zealand ships.
The MLC covers commercial vessels of 200 gross tonnage or more, that operate outside the in-shore limits. It does not apply to fishing vessels.
Maritime Union National Secretary Joe Fleetwood says the Union has been advocating New Zealand become a signatory to the MLC for some time.
The MLC has been described by the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) as a “seafarers bill of rights.”
The Maritime Union is an affiliate of the ITF which works to ensure the safety and wellbeing of seafarers globally.
Mr Fleetwood says that ships that have problems with crews often had multiple issues with safety and seaworthiness.
“We are seeing a move towards greater oversight of the maritime industry, as deregulation has failed to deliver decent standards.”