What IBF ( The International Bargaining Forum) does for seafarers?
Maritime industry is a unique multinational industry, where standardization of pay is paramount to protect seafarers. Therefore The International Bargaining Forum (IBF) was established in 2003, for collective bargaining of wages and condition of employment in the marine industry. Below are 4 major workings of IBF;
Pay Negotiation – International Seafarers’ wages varies according to nationalities. The fixing of wages is long process and represented by main stakeholders; IBF (International Bargaining Forum), which includes Joint Negotiation Group as employers’ representative and ITF as seafarers’ representative. Once the IBF negotiations are concluded, Joint Negotiation Group** representatives visit the principal labor supply and ship owning countries to negotiate the application of the settlement at local level. That is the reason of large difference in pay structure and benefits of seafarers of different countries.
IBF High Risk Area crew entitlements- Since 2008 the IBF designated an IBF High Risk Area, seafarers are in Internationally Recommended Transit Corridor (IRTC) are entitled to special allowances as per IBF recommendation. This recommends 100% additional basic wages and all compensation payable are doubled. Last update on IBF list was published on 16th December 2015.
The IBF Seafarers’ Support Fund – It was created exclusively to support the welfare of seafarers. A part of ITF Assistance, Welfare and Protection Fund is paid to this fund. JNG members contribute to this fund through ITF fund and it is utilized for welfare of seafarers, especially towards MLC 2006.
Seafarers’ Employment Promotion Fund – US$10 per month is contributed by every IMEC member, (it can be different for other JNG members) to Seafarers’ Employment Promotion Fund for every seafarer serving on an IBF registered vessel. This fund is utilized for training and development of seafarers and companies can ask for up to 90% grant from SEP. See the summary of Funds.
Who are members of JNG, Joint Negotiation Group?
JNG members’ main job is Seafarers wage negotiation; assisting employers with updated legislations about seafarers’ employment; promote good employment practice and many more to help employers and seafarers. Below are the members;
- The International Maritime Employers’ Council (IMEC) – 200 companies, 11,000 vessels, 290,000 seafarers, 68 different nationalities.
- International Maritime Managers’ Association of Japan – 97 companies , 2,335 vessels with 47,664 seafarers
- Evergreen – 190 ships
- Korean Shipowners’ Association- 193 companies, 11000seafarers (2014 figure)
Source – IBF, IMMA Japan, IMEC