Agreement on decent working conditions for fishermen
By Sophie Petitjean | Monday 21 May 2012
On 21 May, the European social partners will sign an agreement aiming to guarantee decent working conditions aboard fishing vessels operating in European waters. Negotiated since 2010, the agreement transposes International Labour Organisation Convention 188 (Work in Fishing Convention). “This agreement shows the ability of the European sectoral social dialogue to participate fully in the enactment of legally binding EU regulation,” welcomed the European Transport Workers’ Federation and the Europêche and Cogeca employers’ representatives.
The agreement is meant to improve fishermen’s working and living conditions on vessels flying the flag of a European Union state and mooring in European ports, irrespective of the national flag or the nationality of their crew.
It sets minimum requirements for working on board, conditions of service, accommodation and food, occupational safety and health protection, medical care and social security as defined in the ILO convention. It will be signed at a ceremony in Gothenburg, Sweden, in the presence of Fisheries and Maritime Affairs Commissioner Maria Damanaki.
The social partners have already announced their plans to ask the Commission to propose an EU directive effectively transposing the content of the agreement into EU law. This request is expected to be submitted once the Commission completes its legal evaluation of the text.