25.09.2023

IBF Deal Done: 250,000 Seafarers Pay Boosted By 6%

Seafarers unions and maritime employers have signed a four-year agreement that will see significant wage increases and dozens of workplace protections and improvements for over 250,000 seafarers serving on more than 10,000 vessels.

The International Bargaining Forum (IBF), the forum that negotiates the worlds largest global collective bargaining agreement, agreed terms for the 2024-2027 IBF Framework Agreement last week in Berlin, Germany.

Seafarers covered by the agreement will receive a 6 percent wage increase over the next two years (4 per cent wage and compensations increase from 1 January 2024 and 2 per cent wage and compensations increase from 1 January 2025). The 2026-27 pay deal and cost items will be negotiated in 2025.

In addition, the agreement includes reference to ILO Convention 190 on Violence and Harassment to reinforce a joint commitment to provide safe workplaces free of violence, discrimination and harassment for all seafarers. There was also a joint recognition of the importance of safe working practices in cargo lashing in the common fight against malpractice.

A new working group was also established that will focus on the future of seafaring and major challenges that the industry faces including the impact of new technology, the introduction of alternative fuels, and ensuring a just transition as the industry responds to climate change. Concerns around seafarers hours of work, crewing levels, fatigue and duration of employment will also fall under the remit of the working group.

Under the agreement, the JNG also committed to remind their members of the importance of respecting national cabotage provisions and committed to working on a strategy to work towards more and more seafarers receiving a reasonable amount of internet access free of charge.

Spokesperson for the Joint Negotiating Group of maritime employers (JNG) and Chairman of IMEC, Captain Belal Ahmed said:  Post Covid joint initiatives by JNG and  Seafarers unions  face together the new and unprecedented challenges for our industry will now take centre stage. I believe this partnership is key to address the issues affecting seafarers welfare and training today towards the ultimate aim of decarbonising and achieving net zero shipping by 2050 whilst resolving seafarers shortages.

Also from the employers side of the table, Chairman of JNG and IMMAJ Mr Toshihito Inoue added: The negotiations were particularly tough this time, due to the challenges the pandemic brought about both on seafarers and employers. Nevertheless, we managed to dialogue in good faith, proving the strong partnership we have developed over the past twenty years lives on.

I was also pleased that we had a chance to talk about the future of our industry, including ways to attract seafarers going forward, the environmental challenges that await us and the technological solutions that will both help us and at the same time demand that we change with the times.

I was also pleased that we had a chance to talk about the future of our industry, including ways to attract seafarers going forward, the environmental challenges that await us and the technological solutions that will both help us and at the same time demand that we change with the times.

Source: marineinsight.com, Press Release
Photo: IMO


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