Era before the Maritime Labour Convention- 1/2

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The Maritime labour convention, 2006. popularly known as the fourth pillar of the Maritime organisation. It is pretty self explanatory when this convention is called the pillar since it focuses on a single major element fueling Marine industry, seafarers. The entry of MLC had an impact on a few conventions already adopted by the ILO(international labour organisation), which automatically where shut to ratification. For all the  ECDIS and MLC era seafarers, me included, wondering what conventions protected labour interests back in the Elvis era, here is a list.

Minimum Age Convention, 1973

It is a convention adopted in 1973 by the International Labour Organization. It requires ratifying states to pursue a national policy designed to ensure the effective abolition of child labour and to raise progressively the minimum age for admission to employment or work.

Countries are free to specify a minimum age for labour, with a minimum of 15 years. A declaration of 14 years is also possible when for a specified period of time. Laws may also permit light work for children aged 13–15 (not harming their health or school work). The minimum age of 18 years is specified for work which “is likely to jeopardize the health, safety or morals of young persons”.

32% of the ratified state said 14 years and 43% of the ratified state said 15, while 25% of the ratified state said 16 years

 

Unemployment Indemnity (Shipwreck) Convention, 1920

This convention decided upon the adoption of certain proposals with regard to the “supervision of articles of agreement; provision of facilities for finding employment for seamen; application to seamen of the Convention and Recommendations adopted at Washington in November last in regard to unemployment and unemployment insurance”

Article 2 states the following

  1. In every case of loss or foundering of any vessel, the owner or person with whom the seaman has contracted for service on board the vessel shall pay to each seaman employed thereon an indemnity against unemployment resulting from such loss or foundering.
  2. This indemnity shall be paid for the days during which the seaman remains in fact unemployed at the same rate as the wages payable under the contract, but the total indemnity payable under this Convention to any one seaman may be limited to two months’ wages.

Medical Examination of Young Persons (Sea) Convention, 1921

It was decided upon the adoption of certain proposals with regard to the compulsory medical examination of children and young persons employed at sea

The employment of any child or young person under eighteen years of age on any vessel, other than vessels upon which only members of the same family are employed, shall be conditional on the production of a medical certificate attesting fitness for such work, signed by a doctor who shall be approved by the competent authority.

The continued employment at sea of any such child or young person shall be subject to the repetition of such medical examination at intervals of not more than one year, and the production, after each such examination, of a further medical certificate attesting fitness for such work. Should a medical certificate expire in the course of a voyage, it shall remain in force until the end of the said voyage.

Repatriation of Seamen Convention, 1926

Adoption of certain proposals with regard to the repatriation of seamen were considered

The expenses of repatriation shall not be a charge on the seaman if he has been left behind by reason of–

  • (a) injury sustained in the service of the vessel, or
  • (b) shipwreck, or
  • (c) illness not due to his own wilful act or default, or
  • (d) discharge for any cause for which he cannot be held responsible.

The expenses of repatriation shall include the transportation charges, the accommodation and the food of the seaman during the journey. They shall also include the maintenance of the seaman up to the time fixed for his departure

The public authority of the country in which the vessel is registered shall be responsible for supervising the repatriation of any member of the crew in cases where this Convention applies, whatever may be his nationality, and where necessary for giving him his expenses in advance.

Officers’ Competency Certificates Convention, 1936

No person shall be engaged to perform or shall perform on board any vessel to which this Convention applies the duties of master or skipper, navigating officer in charge of a watch, chief engineer, or engineer officer in charge of a watch, unless he holds a certificate of competency to perform such duties, issued or approved by the public authority of the territory where the vessel is registered.

No person shall be granted a certificate of competency unless–

  • (a) he has reached the minimum age prescribed for the issue of the certificate in question;
  • (b) his professional experience has been of the minimum duration prescribed for the issue of the certificate in question; and
  • (c) he has passed the examinations organised and supervised by the competent authority for the purpose of testing whether he possesses the qualifications necessary for performing the duties corresponding to the certificate for which he is a candidate.

Shipowners’ Liability (Sick and Injured Seamen) Convention, 1936

The shipowner shall be liable in respect of–

  • (a) sickness and injury occurring between the date specified in the articles of agreement for reporting for duty and the termination of the engagement;
  • (b) death resulting from such sickness or injury.

For the purpose of this Convention, medical care and maintenance at the expense of the shipowner comprises–

(a) medical treatment and the supply of proper and sufficient medicines and therapeutic appliances; and

(b) board and lodging.

 The shipowner shall be liable to defray the expense of medical care and maintenance until the sick or injured person has been cured, or until the sickness or incapacity has been declared of a permanent character.

 Provided that national laws or regulations may limit the liability of the shipowner to defray the expense of medical care and maintenance to a period which shall not be less than sixteen weeks from the day of the injury or the commencement of the sickness.

Holidays with Pay (Sea) Convention, 1936

Every person to whom this Convention applies shall be entitled after one year of continuous service to an annual holiday with pay of at least six working days.

Persons, including apprentices, under sixteen years of age shall be entitled after one year of continuous service to an annual holiday with pay of at least twelve working days.

The following shall not be included in the annual holiday with pay:

(a) public and customary holidays;

(b) interruptions of attendance at work due to sickness.

National laws or regulations may authorise in special circumstances the division into parts of any part of the annual holiday with pay which exceeds the minimum duration prescribed by this Article.

The duration of the annual holiday with pay shall increase with the length of service under conditions to be prescribed by national laws or regulations.

Sickness Insurance (Sea) Convention, 1936

An insured person who is rendered incapable of work and deprived of his wages by reason of sickness shall be entitled to a cash benefit for at least the first twenty-six weeks or one hundred and eighty days of incapacity from and including the first day for which benefit is payable.

The right to benefit may be made conditional upon the completion of a qualifying period and of a waiting period of a few days to be counted from the beginning of the incapacity.

The cash benefit granted to the insured person shall never be fixed at a rate lower than that fixed by the general scheme of compulsory sickness insurance, where such a scheme exists but does not apply to seamen.

Cash benefit may be withheld–

  • (a) while the insured person is on board or abroad;
  • (b) while the insured person is maintained by the insurance institution or from public funds. Provided that in such case it shall only partially be withheld when the insured person has family responsibilities;
  • (c) while in respect of the same illness the insured person receives compensation from another source to which he is entitled by law, so however that in such case benefit shall only be wholly or partially withheld if and so far as such compensation is equal to or less than the amount of the benefit payable under the sickness insurance scheme.

Cash benefit may be reduced or refused in the case of sickness caused by the insured person’s wilful misconduct.

Hours of Work and Manning (Sea) Convention, 1936

Finally something that sounds very familiar.

It was decided upon the adoption of certain proposals with regard to the regulation of hours of work on board ship, and manning in conjunction with hours of work on board ship

This part(Hours of work) of this Convention does not apply to–

  • (a) officers in charge of departments who do not keep watch;
  • (b) wireless operators and telephonists;
  • (c) pilots;
  • (d) doctors;
  • (e) nursing staff exclusively engaged on nursing duties or hospital staff;
  • (f) persons working exclusively on their own account;
  • (g) persons remunerated exclusively by a share of profits;
  • (h) persons whose duties are connected solely with the cargo carried on board and who are not in fact in the employment either of the owner or of the master;
  • (i) travelling dockers;
  • (j) crews consisting entirely of members of the family, as defined by national laws or regulations, of the owner of the vessel.

For Deck crew

1. In vessels of over 2,000 tons the hours of work at sea and on arrival and sailing days of deck ratings whose time is divided into watches shall not exceed eight in the day nor shall they exceed fifty-six in the week.

2.In vessels of over 700 tons the hours of work at sea and on arrival and sailing days of deck ratings employed as day workers shall not exceed eight in the day nor shall they exceed forty-eight in the week.

3.Hours in excess of the limits prescribed in paragraphs 1 and 2 may be worked on arrival and sailing days. Whether or not such hours are to be worked and where such hours are allowed the conditions under which they may be worked shall be determined by national laws or regulations or collective agreements.

For Engine crew

1.In vessels of over 700 tons the hours of work at sea and on arrival and sailing days of engine-room and stokehold ratings whose time is divided into watches shall not exceed eight in the day nor shall they exceed fifty-six in the week. Provided that extra time may be worked for the normal relieving of watches and the hoisting and dumping of ashes.

2.In vessels of over 700 tons the hours of work at sea and on arrival and sailing days of engine-room and stokehold ratings employed as day workers shall not exceed eight in the day nor shall they exceed forty-eight in the week.

3.Hours in excess of the limits prescribed in paragraphs 1 and 2 may be worked on arrival and sailing days. Whether or not such hours are to be worked and where such hours are allowed the conditions under which they may be worked shall be determined by national laws or regulations or collective agreements.

For Deck officers

  1. In vessels of over 2,000 tons the hours of work at sea and on arrival and sailing days of deck officers shall not exceed eight in the day nor shall they exceed fifty-six in the week.
  2. Provided that one additional hour per day may be worked at sea and on arrival and sailing days for navigational or clerical purposes.
  3. Provided also that additional hours may be worked occasionally when the master deems it necessary to order two officers to keep watch simultaneously, so however that in no case shall any officer be required in virtue of this paragraph to work more than twelve hours in any day.
  4. In vessels of over 700 tons the hours of work at sea and on arrival and sailing days of deck officers employed as day workers shall not exceed eight in the day nor shall they exceed forty-eight in the week.
  5. Hours in excess of the limits prescribed in paragraphs 1 and 4 may be worked on arrival and sailing days. Whether or not such hours are to be worked and where such hours are allowed the conditions under which they may be worked shall be determined by national laws or regulations or collective agreements.
  6. The provisions of this Article apply to apprentices and cadets in the deck department.

For Engineer Officers

  1. In vessels required under Article 16 to carry three or more engineer officers the hours of work of such officers at sea and on arrival and sailing days shall not exceed eight in the day nor shall they exceed fifty-six in the week.
  2. In vessels of over 700 tons the hours of work at sea of engineer officers employed as day workers shall not exceed eight in the day nor shall they exceed forty-eight in the week.
  3. The provisions of this Article apply to apprentices and cadets in the engine-room department.

Minimum Age Convention, 1973

  1. Children under the age of fifteen years shall not be employed or work on vessels, other than vessels upon which only members of the same family are employed.
  2. Provided that national laws or regulations may provide for the issue in respect of children of not less than fourteen years of age of certificates permitting them to be employed in cases in which an educational or other appropriate authority designated by such laws or regulations is satisfied, after having due regard to the health and physical condition of the child and to the prospective as well as to the immediate benefit to the child of the employment proposed, that such employment will be beneficial to the child.
  3. The provisions of 2. shall not apply to work done by children on school-ships or training-ships, provided that such work is approved and supervised by public authority.

Food and Catering (Ships’ Crews) Convention, 1946

Adoption of certain proposals with regard to food and catering for crews on board ship   were agreed upon.

The following functions shall be discharged by the competent authority, except in so far as these functions are adequately discharged in virtue of collective agreements:

  • (a) the framing and enforcement of regulations concerning food and water supplies, catering, and the construction, location, ventilation, heating, lighting, water system and equipment of galleys and other catering department spaces on board ship, including store rooms and refrigerated chambers;
  • (b) the inspection of food and water supplies and of the accommodation, arrangements and equipment on board ship for the storage, handling and preparation of food;
  • (c) the certification of such members of the catering department staff as are required to possess prescribed qualifications;
  • (d) research into, and educational and propaganda work concerning, methods of ensuring proper food supply and catering service.

 

Each Member shall maintain in force laws or regulations concerning food supply and catering arrangements designed to secure the health and well-being of the crews of the vessels.

These laws or regulations shall require–

(a) the provision of food and water supplies which, having regard to the size of the crew and the duration and nature of the voyage, are suitable in respect of quantity, nutritive value, quality and variety;

(b) the arrangement and equipment of the catering department in every vessel in such a manner as to permit of the service of proper meals to the members of the crew.

Social Security (Seafarers) Convention, 1946

  1.  A seafarer resident in the territory in which the vessel is registered who is left behind in another territory by reason of injury in the service of the ship or sickness not due to his own wilful act shall be entitled to–
    • (a) proper and sufficient medical care until he is cured or repatriated, whichever first occurs;
    • (b) board and lodging until he is able to obtain suitable employment or is repatriated, whichever first occurs; and
    • (c) repatriation.
  2. Such a seafarer shall also be entitled to an allowance equal to 100 per cent. of his wages (exclusive of bonuses) until he is able to obtain suitable employment, or until he is repatriated, or until the expiry of a period of a length prescribed by national laws or regulations or by collective agreement, which period shall not be less than twelve weeks, whichever event first occurs. If the prescribed period expires before the seafarer is able to obtain suitable employment or is repatriated, he or his dependants shall be entitled to any benefit under a scheme of compulsory social insurance or workmen’s compensation which would be payable if the seafarer were present in the territory of registration. Any benefit payable to the seafarer or his dependants under such a scheme prior to the expiry of the prescribed period may be deducted from the allowance.

Accommodation of Crews (Supplementary Provisions) Convention, 1970

Accomodation requirements

  1. 1. The location, means of access, structure and arrangement in relation to other spaces of crew accommodation shall be such as to ensure adequate security, protection against weather and sea, and insulation from heat or cold, undue noise or effluvia from other spaces.
  2. There shall be no direct openings into sleeping rooms from spaces for cargo and machinery or from galleys, lamp and paint rooms or from engine, deck and other bulk storerooms, drying rooms, communal wash places or water closets. That part of the bulkhead separating such places from sleeping rooms and external bulkheads shall be efficiently constructed of steel or other approved substance and shall be watertight and gastight.
  3. External bulkheads of sleeping rooms and mess rooms shall be adequately insulated. All machinery casings and all boundary bulkheads of galleys and other spaces in which heat is produced shall be adequately insulated where there is a possibility of resulting heat effects in adjoining accommodation or passageways. Care shall also be taken to provide protection from heat effects of steam and/or hot-water service pipes.
  4. Internal bulkheads shall be of approved material which is not likely to harbour vermin.
  5. Sleeping rooms, mess rooms, recreation rooms and alley-ways in the crew accommodation space shall be adequately insulated to prevent condensation or overheating.
  6. Main steam and exhaust pipes for winches and similar gear shall not pass through crew accommodation nor, whenever technically possible, through alley-ways leading to crew accommodation; where they do pass through such alley-ways they shall be adequately insulated and encased.
  7. Inside panelling or sheeting shall be of material with a surface easily kept clean. Tongued and grooved boarding or any other form of construction likely to harbour vermin shall not be used.
  8. The competent authority shall decide to what extent fire-prevention or fire-retarding measures shall be required to be taken in the construction of the accommodation.
  9. The wall surface and deckheads in sleeping rooms and mess rooms shall be capable of being easily kept clean and, if painted, shall be light in colour; lime wash must not be used.
  10. The wall surfaces shall be renewed or restored as necessary.
  11. The decks in all crew accommodation shall be of approved material and construction and shall provide a surface impervious to damp and easily kept clean.
  12. Where the floorings are of composition the joinings with sides shall be rounded to avoid crevices.
  13. Sufficient drainage shall be provided.
  14. sleeping rooms and mess rooms shall be adequately ventilated.
  15. The system of ventilation shall be controlled so as to maintain the air in a satisfactory condition and to ensure a sufficiency of air movement in all conditions of weather and climate.
  16. Ships regularly engaged on voyages in the tropics and the Persian Gulf shall be equipped with mechanical means of ventilation.
  17. Ships engaged outside the tropics shall be equipped with either mechanical means of ventilation or electric fans. The competent authority may exempt ships normally employed in the cold waters of the northern or southern hemispheres from this requirement.

 

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