ITF Upholds Cabotage Role in Protecting Jobs

Wednesday / July 20, 2016

ITF Upholds Cabotage Role in Protecting Jobs

The ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation) has upheld the vital role of maritime cabotage in protecting jobs, economies and skills at a TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) stakeholder event in Brussels, Belgium.

ITF seafarers’ section secretary Jon Whitlow addressed the meeting’s audience of TTIP negotiators.

He told them “The ITF welcomes the opportunity to state our position on behalf of our affiliates regarding the labour and maritime transport issues under discussion in TTIP and trade agreements in general. Trade agreements should be an opportunity to improve workers’ rights and have as a primary objective the facilitation of full employment and decent working conditions for the workers of the contracting parties. Therefore, we believe that TTIP should include a strong, legally binding labour chapter, with recognition of ILO global labour standards as minimum standards and EU and US standards on social and labour rights and should exclude transport from the scope of the negotiations”.

Jon Whitlow concluded “There is no reason for either side in TTIP to seek access to the other’s domestic cabotage regimes or to restrict measures by either party to grow their national first registers and national seafaring jobs. And therefore, since access to the international maritime trades on both sides of the Atlantic is already open, there is no reason for the European Commission to continue to call for a maritime services chapter in TTIP”.

ITF president Paddy Crumlin concluded “The ITF and its unions are committed to defending cabotage, which is in operation in 47 countries. We are on record as pointing out that failing to protect cabotage undermines sovereignty and has national security implications. It also has serious economic implications for maritime regions and communities”.

Source: MUA

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