Lately, European maritime transport officials have welcomed an agreement for a Directive on seafarer’s exclusions proposed earlier by the European Commission. Also the representatives of the EU Maritime Transport approved a compromise text of the Council’s Committee of Permanent Representatives (Coreper) for a new directive to increase protection of seafarers’ labor rights.

New EU Directives on Seafarers’ labor rights

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Revised by the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers, the Commission’s directive will make some basic EU Directives, appropriate to be applied to merchant shipping in all Member States of the EU. Among these official procedure prescriptions will be:

  • Directive on information and consultation of employees in the European Union;
  • Directive on the establishment of European Works’ Councils for the purposes of informing and consulting employees;
  • Directive on collective redundancies and on the safeguarding of employees’ rights in the event of a transfer of undertakings.

In order to enter into force, the agreement has to be formally signed and approved by the EU Parliament’s Employment Committee in a Plenary session and later by the Council of Ministers.

”The new directive will respect a clear balance between the inherent special features of this professional sector and the high importance to ensure equal treatment for seafarers. This was our common objective and I believe we have managed to reach it very quickly,” said Elisabeth Morin-Chartier, EP Rapporteur.

The European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA) and the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF), which are the EU recognised social partners for maritime transport, both were satisfied with the agreement and pleased with the work done by the EU Council and the EU Parliament.

”The adoption of the agreement in trialogue marks a very positive outcome that will ensure that the exclusion of seafarers from some key employment and social rights is removed and seafarers can enjoy their right to protection, information and consultation and their right to fair and just working conditions,” said Mark Dickinson, the ETF spokesman.