Dockers Secure Lashing Rights under New IBF Deal

The new International Bargaining Forum (IBF) framework agreement reached between the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) and Joint Negotiating Group (JNG) last week has secured the rights of dockers to carry out lashing and other cargo handling services in ports.

Namely, new terms have been agreed under the Dockers’ Clause, allowing dockworker to seek exclusive rights to carry out lashing work in ports.

“With immediate effect, we have a mandate to approach companies operating in the Baltic Sea, northern and western Europe and Canadian waters to demand that lashing work be exclusively carried out by dockers, with this requirement to be fully implemented by  January 1, 2020. We have been fighting to reclaim lashing for dockworkers as part of the ETF/ITF lashing campaign since May 2015. This is a huge step forward,” Torben Seebold, vice-chair of the ETF and ITF International Dockers’ Section, said.

“The signing of the Dockers’ Clause represents a recognition of the importance of having trained, experienced dockers undertaking this dangerous work. It’s a win for both seafarers and dockers in an environment where some shipowners continue to exploit seafarers and dockers. Conditions, safety and wages are under attack from companies like Philippines-based International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI). This Agreement shows the power of solidarity across all maritime workers, Paddy Crumlin, ITF president and chair of the Dockers’ Section, said.

The new four-year agreement hammered out during a meeting held in Manilla on 19-22 February relates to the employment of seafarers on JNG vessels worldwide and includes a salary increase of 2.5 pct from January 1, 2019. The wages are subject to review after two years.

Other key points of the agreement include enhanced welfare support for seafarers, an increase in JNG members’ rebate from the ITF Welfare Fund to 16 pct, with an additional 2 pct available based on an incentive system along with re-grading of the Warlike Area off the coast of Somalia to a High-Risk Area and the addition of a Warlike Area 12 nm off the mainland coast of Yemen.

In addition, changes to various contractual clauses have been agreed, including a revision to the article covering non-seafarers’ work effective March 1, 2018.