Crewing agents in the Ukraine registered their backing for a key international convention on seafarers’ rights at a seminar in the Ukrainian seaport of Odessa last month.
Over 50 local crewing agent participants signed up to the Odessa Accord, pledging their support for the Maritime Labour Convention
(MLC) at the event on 24 July, which focused on the convention’s requirements on recruitment and placement.
Organised by the ITF-affiliated Maritime Transport Workers’ Trade Union of the Ukraine (MTWTU) in collaboration with the ITF, the International Maritime Employers’ Council (IMEC) and the International Labour Organization (ILO), key speakers included, Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry, ILO director of labour standards, Stephen Cotton, ITF maritime coordinator, Giles Heimann, IMEC secretary general and Rajesh Tandon, V-Ships operations manager.
Cotton paid tribute to the importance of the Ukraine as a source of “quality seafarers”. “The objective is to stamp out the bad competitors who give Ukrainian agencies a bad name and to secure an open commitment to upholding the convention’s standards and protecting the future of the Ukrainian maritime industry,” he said.
Agents, who had previously voiced concerns, conceded that the convention would be important for Ukrainian seafarers and those involved in their recruitment and should be supported.
Doumbia-Henry continued on her Ukrainian mission to Kiev the following day where she met with the vice minister for labour and national Ukrainian employers’ and union organisations. She delivered the message contained in the Odessa Accord – urging the government to consider ratification of MLC, 2006 as a matter of urgency.