(Full text version MLC-2006 can be downloaded from LINKS & DOWNLOADS)
The Maritime Labour Convention of 2006 (MLC, 2006) which is also referred to as the Seafarer’s Bill of rights and came into force per Aug 20, 2013. It consolidated numerous ILO conventions, concerning workforce for the martime industry, into one comprehensive Convention. This become the fourth pillar of the international maritime regulatory regime alongside SOLAS, MARPOL, and STCW conveitions.
The contents of the MLC, 2006 Convention:
TITLE-1 MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS FOR SEAFARERS TO WORK ON A SHIP
To ensure that
1.1 no under-age persons work on a ship
1.2 all Seafarers are medically fit to perform their duties at sea
1.3 Seafarers are trained or qualified to carry out their duties on board ship
1.4 Seafarers have access to an efficient and well-regulated seafarer recruitment and placement system
TITLE-2 CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT
To ensure that Seafarers:
2.1 have a fair employment agreement
2.2 are paid for their services
2.3 have regulated hours of work and rest
2.4 have adequate leave
2.5 are able to return home
2.6 are compensated when a ship is lost or has foundered
2.7 work on board ships with sufficient personnel for the safe, efficient and secure operation of the ship
2.8 Career and skills development and employment opportunities are promoted
TITLE-3 ACCOMMODATION, RECREATIONAL FACILITIES, FOOD AND CATERING
To ensure that Seafarers have,
3.1 decent accommodation and recreational facilities on board
3.2 access to good quality food/drinking water provided under regulated hygienic conditions
TITLE-4 HEALTH PROTECTION, MEDICAL CARE, WELFARE AND SOCIAL SECURITY PROTECTIONTo ensure that Seafarers,
4.1 health is protected and ensure their prompt access to medical care on board ship and ashore
4.2 are protected from the financial consequences of sickness, injury or death during employment
4.3 work environment on board promotes occupational safety and health
4.4 have access to shore based facilities and services to secure their health and well being
4.5 are provided with access to social security protection
TITLE-5 COMPLIANCE AND ENFORCEMENT
5.1 Flag State Responsibilities incl 5.1.5 on board complaint procedure.
5.2 Port State responsibilities incl 5.2.2 on shore Seafarer complaint-handling procedures
5.3 Labour supplying responsibilities
5.1.5 SEAFARER’S COMPLAINT PROCEDURE
Among which are some significant provisions of the MLC, 2006 briefly explained below:
Some of the rights or protections that are defined in the Convention are.
>Collection of “Placement fees” from Seafarer illegal (this was already illegal in the Philippines)
>Other costs involved in placement to be published. (all other costs are published on notice board and you will receive overview prior signing)
>Seafarer to be informed about rights, duties, conditions and policies prior signing contract. (Your fleetmanager or crewing assistant will explain and you will be given time to read and ask questions before signing the contract)
>Privacy of Seafarer personal details. (All Avior staff sign a confidentiality clause in which they undertake not to release any of your personal data to 3rd parties. Your personal file is locked away when not in use)
>Formal Grievance Procedure established for Seafarer in case of unresolved complaints on board.(If you have a genuine complaint this should first be raised with your superior or head of department onboard. If after this grievances remain unresolved there is a standard grievance procedure available on board to raise this).
MLC-2006 MASTER’S ROLE
>Master or person authorized by him shall maintain and sign records of seafarers ‘daily hours of work/rest’. Each Seafarer shall endorse his personal copy.
>Master’s obligation to carry out on board inspections to ensure accommodation areas and recreational facilities are safe and in hygienic condition.
>Conduct/oversee regular inspections of galley, storerooms, provisions and equipment for handling and preparation of food.
>Results of inspections to be recorded and kept for inspection
>Should be familiar with the requirements and responsibilities under MLC-2006
How will Seafarer’s complaints be handled?
>Via mandatory on board complaint procedure, the Seafarer will be able to lodge a complaint about alleged breached of MLC-2006 requirements (incl Seafarer’s rights)
>The convention emphasize that complaints, in the first instance should be resolved at the lowest level possible, Seafarers have the right ot complain directly to the Master and if necessary to appropriate external authorities identified by the flag state.
>The intention is to find a mechanism to resolve differences on board without involving external parties and cause unnecessary delays and unrest.