Seafarers’ union bodies, including ITF, ETF and affiliated unions, vowed to continue the battle to achieve compliance with the Non-Seafarers’ Work Clause. The calling comes as the court of Rotterdam refrained this week from immediately ordering a shipowner and manning agents to comply with the Non-Seafarers’ Work Clause, also known as the Dockers’ Clause.
The Dockers’ Clause, which came into effect on 1 January 2020, secures safe working conditions for seafarers and for dockers, provisioning that lashing work should be carried out only by trained dockers. So it allows seafarers to ensure they don’t have to do a job they’re not supposed to be doing.
Therefore, the ITF, ETF and the bodies’ affiliated unions Nautilus NL, FNV Havens and Ver.di have long challenged the industry to comply with the clause.
Despite the decision to dismiss the unions’ preliminary request to prohibit the lashing by seafarers immediately in advance of the results of main proceedings, unions believe that the agreement is clear that this cargo handling work must be undertaken by trained, experienced dockers when they are present; putting an end the dangerous practice of fatigued seafarers undertaking lashing.
According to the verdict, urgency for interim relief as a result of the non-compliance indeed exists.
However, the presiding judge was of the opinion that more extensive judicial review would be necessary to examine the several factual and legal questions, according to the ruling.
The maritime unions are now considering whether to instigate appeal on the preliminary decision or proceed to the pending main proceedings where the Court will extensively examine the matter.