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'Non-Seafarers Work' clause in ITF CBAs

For lashing containers can the operators be strong armed into using stevedores and that too only those belonging to ITF-affiliated trade unions or can the crew undertake lashing jobs? Courtesy the new ‘Non-Seafarers Work’ clause in ITF CBAs, the feeder / short sea operators & charterers in EU have locked horns with ITF, Nautilus & dock worker unions. In ITF v. Marlow [2020], a Dutch court had to decide if operators need to comply with such clauses.

The prohibition on having the crew perform lashing work is a result of the dockers clause which was negotiated between ITF and JNG. Owners and charterers argued - that given the outbreak of Covid-19, compliance was extremely onerous as it exposes the crew to contracting COVID from dockers; historically on sub-170 m long vessels in EU, lashings have been done by crew; and lashing bonus adds to seafarers' income.

ITF, on the other hand said that lashing companies had adequate preventive measures in place for Covid, and that lashing by crew would result in - fatigued crew & accidents.

The court said that the clause should be set aside during COVID as the interests of owners outweighs those of ITF & others.

Worth noting, that some operators have filed a complaint with EC saying the clause violates competition law.

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