As the world celebrates the Day of the Seafarer, today, June 25, the Maritime Authority of Jamaica (MAJ) while joining in recognizing their tremendous contribution to world economy and commerce, makes a special appeal to seafarers to pay keen attention to the provisions of the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) 2006.
This appeal comes at a crucial time for seafarers just a few weeks before the coming into effect of the International Labour Organization’s “Bill of Rights” for seafarers. As Jamaica puts measures in place to guide its shipowners and to ultimately sign the Convention, it urges seafarers to take its provisions seriously as their diligence is also critical to the successful implementation and enforcement of the Convention.
According to Rear Admiral Peter Brady, Director General of the MAJ, “seafarers should recall that the provisions of the convention were developed as a tripartite instrument with the input of governments, shipowners and seafarers’ representatives, and its implementation and enforcement also need this tripartite commitment to achieve its overarching aim of decent working conditions and social protection for seafarers, as well as secure economic interests in fair competition for quality shipowners.”
The MLC is seen as the 4th pillar in the international maritime regulatory regime for quality shipping that is safe, secure and clean. It complements the major International Maritime Organization conventions; the International Convention for Safety of Life at Sea, 1974 (SOLAS), International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973 (MARPOL) and the International Convention on Standards of Training Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978 (STCW).
The MLC, seeks to address occupational health and safety standards aboard ships. It provides for, among other things, favourable conditions of employment which addresses employment agreements, wages, hours of work and rest, leave entitlement, repatriation, compensation in the event of loss of a ship, career development, accommodation, recreational facilities, food and catering, welfare and social security protection.
The MLC takes effect on August 20 this year. To come into force, the Convention had to be ratified by at least 30 member States having a total share in the world gross tonnage of ships of 33 percent. This was achieved on August 20 last year.