ITF wants Sri Lanka to ratify ILO 2006 Maritime Labour Convention

By Franklin R.Satyapalan

The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) wants the Sri Lankan Government to ratify the ILO 2006 Maritime Labour Convention.

The Island learns that ratification of the Maritime Labour Convention will be discussed at length at the ongoing International Transport Workers Federation Asia/Pacific Regional Committee Meeting, which commenced yesterday in Colombo.

ITF General Secretary David Cockroft told The Island yesterday, that Singapore had done it and Sri Lanka had the fullest potential to do so, after achieving peace and at a time the country was heading for major development.

He said ratification of the convention should be made the highest priority.

Tough new safety standards and anti-pollution rules might act as a counter to any temptation of ship owners, under pressure, to rein in spending by cutting back on maintenance, he said adding: "Thousands of seafarers are being put at risk daily by fewer than a thousand AK-47-toting bandits, and world trade is literally being held hostage. The response of nations – every country in the world is affected – has varied from near-heroic to hand-washing indifference. At a time when some countries are actively escorting merchant ships and pursuing pirates and a few – too few – are prosecuting them when caught, the majority, including many of those who make the most from shipping, are doing little or nothing. For us, this campaign is about making everyone step up and shoulder their responsibilities."

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