Seacurus: Seafarers Should be Protected Against Risk of Unpaid Wages

Posted by Michelle Howard
Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Specialist marine insurance intermediary Seacurus says that reported doubts about the insurance industry’s ability to insure the liability for unpaid wages of abandoned seafarers under the Maritime Labor Convention 2006 are inaccurate and ill-founded.

It is already an agreed principle under MLC 2006, which came into force in August 2013, that liability for the unpaid wages of seafarers currently falls to the recruitment and placement services which help seafarers find employment at sea. Some have rightly argued that this is a misdirected arrow and that it is the shipowner/employer, and not the agent, that should assume this liability.

In a positive move, it is now understood that tripartite talks between owners, unions and governments scheduled for April 2014 at the ILO headquarters in Geneva will finally address this issue, with talks set to concentrate on the specific inclusion of unpaid crew wages in the shipowner’s MLC obligation to repatriate crew in cases of abandonment.

Thomas Brown, managing director of Seacurus, said, “It is time for clarity and certainty on this important issue. The fact is that any cover that does not provide for the indemnification of unpaid wages fails to adequately protect seafarers against the real risk of abandonment. Effective employment protection must include crew wages, without which seafarers risk becoming the cashflow casualties of their employers’ insolvencies.

“It has been suggested by some industry commentators that insurance to cover unpaid wages would be unfeasibly expensive for owners, and that in any case it is only those owners who are likely to default who will need the cover. This is wrong on both counts. Firstly, the CrewSEACURE policy launched earlier this year by Seacurus provides comprehensive cover at low cost, with premiums of as little as $50 per seafarer per year available today. Secondly, the point about only bad owners requiring cover in respect of unpaid wages is immaterial, since the proposed requirement for cover will be mandatory on all shipowners. Mandating the requirement in this way will force out of business those owners who - it is claimed - ‘need the cover’, as they will be unable to obtain the requisite financial security called for by MLC.

“If you cannot pay your crew, you should not put your ship to sea, it’s that simple. Any arguments to the contrary would serve to do our industry a disservice. Unfortunately, without the proposed amendments, there is currently no meaningful deterrent to this premise.

“The fact is that affordable cover in respect of the indemnification of unpaid wages is available, and it is available now. It is in the best interests of the industry and seafarers alike that responsible owners support the ratification and early adoption of the draft amendments to MLC in this regard.”

Maritime Reporter June 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

People & Company News

Top Ships Enters 3 New Charters

TOP Ships Inc., an international owner and operator of modern, fuel efficient "ECO" MR tanker vessels focusing on the transportation of petroleum products, announced

There’s Still Time for SHIPPINGInsight Award Entries

Entry submissions for the first SHIPPINGInsight Award are due Friday, Aug. 1, but organizers said they will continue to accept nominations through following week to provide some extra time.

Rio Tinto Pulls Plug on Mozambique Coal Venture

Rio Tinto has agreed to sell coal assets it bought through a $4 billion acquisition of Riversdale in 2011 for just $50 million to an Indian joint venture, ending

News

Top Ships Enters 3 New Charters

TOP Ships Inc., an international owner and operator of modern, fuel efficient "ECO" MR tanker vessels focusing on the transportation of petroleum products, announced

ATB Barge Project for Murray & Associates

Murray & Associates, LLC has been commissioned to deliver a comprehensive design package for an 185,000 BBL Chemical Tank Barge new construction project. The

Gladding-Hearn Builds New Boat for Delaware Pilots

The Delaware pilots association has ordered its third pilot boat of the popular Chesapeake class from Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding, Duclos Corporation. Delivery

Insurance

London Shipping Professionals Weigh in for SPNL Report

The Shipping Professional Network London (SPNL) has  released their full Future London report, an initiative that gathered the views and opinions of London’s young

Update: U.S. to Seize Kurdish Oil from Tanker off Texas

U.S. authorities are set to seize a cargo of oil from Iraqi Kurdistan anchored off the Texas coast after a judge approved a request from Baghdad, raising the stakes

South Korean Teens: Left to Escape Sinking Ferry

Students testify no help came from crew; Coastguard rescuers were passive, only pulling passengers out. Crew in a state of panic, witness says. Six teenagers

 
 
Maritime Contracts Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Offshore Oil Pod Propulsion Port Authority Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Simulators Sonar
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1573 sec (6 req/sec)