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MEPS overwhelmingly approve report on Maritime Labour Convention

14 March, 2007

Sinn Féin MEP Mary Lou McDonald, today welcomed the overwhelming vote in favour of her report on the ILO Maritime Labour Convention at the European Parliament, saying that the Convention was the most important set of rules that has ever been developed in the maritime labour field.


"This Convention brings together 65 previous ILO conventions into one consolidated document, setting minimum requirements for seafarers, with provisions on: employment conditions and recruitment; working hours; wage protection; leave and repatriation; accommodation; recreation; food and catering; health and medical care; welfare and social security. It will immeasurably improve the conditions of the millions of workers in the sector worldwide. It will shift the behaviour pattern of the whole industry by creating minimum standards avoiding social dumping" McDonald said after vote in Strasbourg, adding that the positive approval by the European Parliament in favour of ratification by 2008 was "a clear sign that MEPs have sent a message to Member States that the negative effects of globalisation, namely social dumping, must be dealt with".


McDonald took the opportunity today to reiterate her call for the Commission to re-table a proposal for a Ferries Directive following recent labour disputes involving ferry companies.


"This type of race to the bottom exploitation, embodied by the Irish Ferries dispute in 2005, needs to be stopped. The adoption of my recommendation to the Parliament on the ILO Maritime Convention is a first step to re-establishing fair wages for ferry workers and revitalising a career option for Irish seafarers."  ENDS

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