The Union has today welcomed the official coming into force in the UK of the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) 2006.
On 7 August last year, the UK became the 41st country to ratify the MLC and had a year to implement it, meaning that as from 7 August 2014 the Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) is able to inspect ships and detain them for breaches of the Convention.
The MLC also is now applicable for the Red Ensign Group flags of Bermuda, Cayman Island, Gibraltar and Isle of Man. When it was originally ratified the adoption was only extended to the Isle of Man and Gibraltar, but now covers five of the six category one flags in the group.
‘We are pleased that the MCA can now begin utilising the additional powers granted to it through the implementation of the MLC,’ said Nautilus International general secretary Mark Dickinson. ‘This means the seafarers “bill of rights” can be extended to every ship and every seafarer visiting the UK, and other Red Ensign Group countries.
‘I hope we will now begin to see an end to the worst excesses of exploitation and abuse in the shipping industry here and around the world,’ he added, ‘and I also hope that the government will ensure the MCA has the necessary staffing and resources to properly enforce the MLC requirements now and into the future.’
Ireland recently became the 63rd country to ratify the convention, meaning it will come into force in Ireland on 21 July 2015. The Convention now covers 80% of the world’s gross tonnage.
Source: Nautilus International