While the Court of
Rotterdam’s decision on 27August 2020 in
the Netherlands is disappointing, the International Transport Workers’
Federation (ITF), the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) and the
bodies’ affiliated unions today vowed to continue the battle to achieve
compliance with the Non-Seafarers’ Work Clause.
The Dutch court
unfortunately refrained from immediately ordering a shipowner and manning
agents to comply with the Non-Seafarers' Work Clause, also known as the
ITF and unions: industry must stop exposing seafarers to additional
workplace health and safety risks
The ITF, ETF and
the bodies’ affiliated unions Nautilus NL, FNV Havens and Ver.di have long
challenged the industry to comply with the clause and stop exposing seafarers
to additional workplace health and safety risks and stop depriving dockers of
their valuable work.
Unions urge to put an end to the dangerous practice of fatigued
seafarers undertaking lashing.
Unions believe that
this cargo handling work must be
undertaken by trained, experienced dockers when they are present; putting an
end the dangerous practice of fatigued seafarers undertaking lashing.
the judge considered that the matter was too complicated for summary
The case is the
outcome of a joint effort by the unions. The clause negotiated to finally bring
in the necessary protections, came into effect on 1 January 2020, following an
agreement in February 2018. The above unions joined forces to enforce this on 3
June 2020, filing preliminary relief proceedings against manning agents Marlow
Navigation Netherlands B.V. and Marlow Navigation Company Limited (registered
in the Netherlands and Cyprus respectively) and shipowner Expert Shipping B.V
in the Netherlands. Five charterer companies later made an application to the
Court to join these proceedings.
Unions to continue fight for compliance with the Non-Seafarers’ Work
verdict, the maritime unions will continue to fight for compliance with the
Non-Seafarers’ Work Clause to see it enforced in full on all vessels with ITF
unions are now considering whether to instigate appeal on the preliminary
decision or proceed to the pending main proceedings where the Court will
extensively examine the matter.