Nautilus has welcomed the new international 'dockers clause' protecting seafarers from working in unsafe conditions which took effect from 1 January 2020.
Designed to protect the jobs of dockers – the clause equally protects seafarers from working in unsafe conditions by setting out what maritime professionals should and not do in port. It is considered vital to ensuring sufficient rest and recuperation in the face of increasing pressure on ships' crews.
Nautilus general secretary Mark Dickinson said: 'The new dockers clause will ensure that only dockers do cargo work and lashing, leaving seafarers to undertake their duties onboard.
'Seafarers can already be required to work up to 91 hours a week – often leaving them fatigued, stressed and putting pressure on their mental health. To also require them to do work which should only be undertaken by trained and experienced dockers puts them at great risk.'
The updated 'dockers clause' clause applies to companies with an agreement negotiated through the International Bargaining Forum – a joint forum which includes the International Maritime Employers' Council and the International Transport Workers Federation.
Dockers Clause takes effect amid shipping companies' last-ditch protests
Efforts by European feeder and shortsea shipping companies to challenge the new 'Dockers Clause' that came into effect at the beginning of 2020 have been condemned by unions, which have set up an international legal taskforce to ensure the clause is globally implemented.