Nautilus general secretary Mark Dickinson has called on maritime Unions to unite in the battle against shipowners who flout the norms of decency and breach international conventions.
Speaking at the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) Inspector's Seminar in Colombo, Sri Lanka Mr Dickinson said maritime Unions must face the challenges together. 'A bad flag state, an exploitative shipowner, those who flout the norms of decency and who breach conventions. We take them on together,' he said.
'Our shared goals are decent work, justice and fairness and we work with anyone who shares those values.'
Policy makers must know about the challenges seafarers face and the 'schemes and scams' of the shipowners and the shortcomings of flag and port states, he said.
Mr Dickinson was addressing the ITF Inspectorate, which in 2018 undertook nearly 11,000 ship inspections and recovered nearly $38m in unpaid salaries for seafarers.
ITF Inspectors police and enforce ITF-approved agreements covering 280,000 seafarers globally, making shipping safer.
Inspectors enforce global minimum standards for decent work as set out in the Maritime Labour Convention 2016.
They lead targeted operations against bad shipping companies, undertaking campaigns to highlight and resolve the scourge of abandonment and resourcing union capacity building through education and awareness raising.
With nearly 140 trained ITF Inspectors worldwide, including 119 ports in 56 countries, there really is nowhere to hide for the bad shipowners, Mr Dickinson said.
'Together, we will force bad operators out of business,' he said.