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McDonald to present major report to European Parliament on working conditions in maritime industry

12 March, 2007

Sinn Féin MEP Mary Lou McDonald will present a major report to the European Parliament on Tuesday in relation to working conditions and entitlements for men and women involved in the maritime industry.   Ms. McDonald is seeking the backing of all 785 members across the EUs 27 member states and her report has already received the backing of two EU Commissioners - Vladimir Spidla and Jacques Barrot. This is the first time that an Irish MEP has had a Parliamentary Report jointly launched by members of the Commission.

Ms. McDonald said:

"On Tuesday I will be presenting a major report to the European Parliament calling for the immediate adoption of the International Labour Office/Maritime Labour Convention. This is an international legal treaty which includes key provisions in relation to employment conditions, accommodation, recreation, catering, medical care, welfare and social security for all those working in the maritime industry.  Recent controversies such as the 2005 Irish Ferries dispute highlight the urgent need for minimum requirements for seafarers.

"I will be seeking the full backing of all 785 members of the Parliament for these measures which have the potential to massively improve the lives of millions of seafarers around the world.

"I want to welcome the support which I have already received from EU Commissioners Vladimir Spidla and Jacques Barrot. This unprecedented interest from the Commission reflects the importance of this issue.

"My report gives Labour inspectorates and Health & Safety inspectorates in European Countries the power to detain the vessels of those owners found in breach of these minimum standards. This new power will ensure that ship-owners must reflect long and hard before opting to outsource their staff or re-flag their vessels."ENDS


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