The final round of negotiations for the creation of the new IBF Framework Agreement has ended with success and the Agreement was signed. The clauses will now be valid for a four-year period, with a wage review after two years. Here are the main points of the agreement:
- There will be a salary increase of 2.5% starting with the 1st of January 2019;
- JNG members’ rebate from the ITS Welfare Fund will increase to 16%, with an additional 2% based on an incentive system;
- The Warlike Area off the coast of Somalia will be graded as a High Risk Area and an addition of a Warlike Area 12nm off the mainland coast of Yemen;
- Changes to various contractual clauses, including a revision to the article covering non-seafarers’ work effective starting with the 1st of March 2018
- Enhanced welfare support for seafarers
“We are committed to ensuring we gain and maintain fair wages and safe working conditions for seafarers and dockers across the world. It is important that we use this opportunity to draw on experience from the existing agreement, to re-think its organisation, to clarify and simplify the language and to secure a solid, usable agreement that will form the base in the coming years of our relationship,” said Dave Heindel, chair of the ITF Seafarers’ Section.
This time around the negotiations have been particularly challenging due to the profit instabilities in certain parts of the industry. Both parties acknowledged the need to support the growth of the market, but also the need to maintain sustainable and fair employment for the seafarers employed on JNG vessels worldwide.
Following the conclusion of the negotiations, JNG chairman, Capt. Koichi Akamine, said: “The fact that we’ve been able to renegotiate and conclude on a new agreement, with the current challenging market conditions, is testament to the IBF process and the members representing both the unions and the employers. This reinforces the trust and mutual respect that both sides have gained over the past 15 years.”