ECSA and ETF, the European Social Partners in the field of Maritime Transport, welcome the agreement (General Approach) reached yesterday by the EU’s Council of Employment and Social Policy Ministers on the Commission’s proposal to amend five EU directives with an aim at repealing the exclusions of seafarers from these directives. The directives concerned relate to employer insolvency, European Works’ Council, Information and Consultation, Collective Redundancies and Transfer of Undertakings.
“We welcome the Council’s General Approach and commend the Italian Presidency for its excellent work, which fully takes into account the social partners’ suggestions for amendments to the original Commission proposal” commented Pia E. Voss, ECSA spokeswoman. “The social partners’ common position was the result of fruitful and constructive deliberations and it is therefore very encouraging to see our position taken up by the EU Member States” she added.
The social partners had themselves reached an agreement on the thorny issue of the exclusions of seafarers from EU legislation in October 2014. While taking into account specific features of the maritime transport sector, the agreement aims to close some loopholes and ensure that seafarers are treated on an equal footing with land-based workers.
“Today’s Council agreement can be hailed as a very positive outcome that will help guarantee the full enjoyment of seafarers’ right to information and consultation within the undertaking and their right to fair and just working conditions” highlighted Mark Dickinson, ETF spokesman. It is a step in the right direction and we look forward to the discussions in the European Parliament in the hope that they will lead to a speedy adoption of the revised rules for seafarers, which will contribute to promote employment, improved living and working conditions, proper social protection and enhanced dialogue between management and labour” he concluded.