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Red flags over another piracy hotspot

Red flags are raised over West African piracy Another red flag was raised over the worsening maritime security situation in West Africa last week when seafarers became eligible for danger money in the area.Employers and unions in the International Bargaining Forum (IBF) agreed the territorial waters of Nigeria and Benin have become dangerous enough to justify doubling seafarers' pay from next month. The IBF has a similar "danger money" agreement covering the high-risk area where attacks by Somali pirates are likely.The West African area had already been added to the list maintained by Lloyd's Joint War Committee (JWC). Hull insurers deemed the Gulf of Guinea a high-risk area following a spate of incidents last year that saw ships being hijacked and cargoes of gasoil stolen. Higher insurance costs have been blamed for a 70% fall in the number of vessels using Benin's port of Cotonou, vital not just to the economy of one of the poorest countries in the world but to its landlocked neighbours that are also dependent on the port.The decisions by the IBF and JWC reveal that, although the risks to shipping in the region have been recognised for some time, success in suppressing attacks has been ...

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IBF High Risk Area In The Gulf Of Guinea

It has been agreed to establish a High Risk Area in the territorial waters of Nigeria and Benin International Maritime Employers' Committee Ltd. Advised its members that following discussion at an IBF High Level Officers' meeting held in Tokyo and subsequent communication between the parties, it has been agreed to establish a High Risk Area in the territorial waters of Nigeria and Benin, extending to 12 nautical miles from the shore line. The full text of the agreement follows and members should note that it enters effect from 1 April 2012. IMEC members have been asked to ensure that the Masters of any vessels visiting Nigeria or Benin are notified of this new designation and the necessary information is supplied to seafarers as follows:The constituents to the International Bargaining Forum have been increasingly concerned about the deteriorating situation in respect of security of crews employed on IBF vessels in the Gulf of Guinea. Specifically, available reports of attacks leading to forceful seizure of cargo and kidnapping of crew members have been considered at length. The increase in the number of attacks and the violent tactics of hostage taking applied by armed gangs, have been found disturbing, particularly in the waters ...

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A three-year pay deal for seafarers has been agreed

After negotiations in the International Bargaining Forum on July A three-year pay deal for seafarers has been agreed following negotiations in the International Bargaining Forum (IBF) between representatives of the ITF and the employers' Joint Negotiating Group (JNG) in Miami, USA on 27 and 28 July.The three-year deal covering all IBF agreements takes effect from 1 January 2012 and will mean a 2% pay increase on 1 January 2012, a further 2.5% increase on 1 January 2013 and a final 3% increase on 1 January 2014.The percentage increase will be applied to an element that includes both pay and union funding. However, the specifics of the application of the increases between officer and rating categories and funding elements will be decided at local negotiations between individual union affiliates and the employers.As well as further aspects of the collective bargaining agreement discussed during their talks, including dealing with bullying and harassment, the IBF also debated piracy and agreed a revised text on warlike operations/high risk areas.For further details see press release on - www.itfglobal.org/press-area/index.cfm/pressdetail/6266/region/1/section/0/order/1Source: ITF

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