R139 Recommendation concerning Employment Problems Arising from Technical Developments on Board Ship

Geneva, 29 ottobre 1970

The General Conference of the International Labour Organisation,

Having been convened at Geneva by the Governing Body of the International Labour Office, and having met in its Fifty-fifth Session on 14 October 1970, and
Considering that in times of accelerated changes in the operation of merchant ships, both as regards technical and organisational methods and as regards economic aspects, special attention needs to be given to the employment problems which may arise from such changes in order to safeguard and improve the conditions of seafarers, provide sufficient and suitable manpower for the maritime industry, and generally secure for all concerned the greater benefits from technical progress, and
Considering further that in the establishment and implementation of national and regional manpower plans under the World Employment Programme of the International Labour Organisation adequate attention should be given to the changing manpower requirements of the maritime industry, and
Noting that technical co-operation is available from the International Labour Organisation for the purpose of maritime manpower planning and development, including the introduction and adaptation of maritime training schemes to meet the requirements of modern merchant ships, and
Noting the terms of existing international labour Conventions and Recommendations which may be relevant to employment problems arising from technical developments, and in particular of the Placing of Seamen Convention, 1920, the Seafarers' Pensions Convention, 1946, the Employment Service Convention and Recommendation, 1948, the Termination of Employment Recommendation, 1963, and the Employment Policy Convention and Recommendation, 1964, and
Considering that it is important to adopt a programme of action specifically designed to meet the requirements of the maritime industry, and
Having decided upon the adoption of certain proposals with regard to problems arising from technical developments and modernisation on board ship, which is the fourth item on the agenda of the session, and
Having determined that these proposals shall take the form of a Recommendation,
adopts this twenty-ninth day of October of the year one thousand nine hundred and seventy, the following Recommendation, which may be cited as the Employment of Seafarers (Technical Developments) Recommendation, 1970:

I. Manpower Planning

1. Each Member which has a maritime industry should ensure the establishment of national manpower plans for that industry within the framework of its national employment policy.
2. In preparing such manpower plans account should be taken of:
(a) the conclusion drawn from periodic studies of the size of the maritime labour force, the nature and extent of employment, the distribution of the labour force by such characteristics as age and occupational group and probable future trends in these fields;
(b) studies of trends in the evolution of new techniques in the maritime industry both at home and abroad, in relation, among other things, to structural changes in the industry in the form of:
(i) changed methods of operation of ships, technically and organisationally; and
(ii) modifications in manning scales and job contents on different types of ships;
(c) forecasts, in the light of the foregoing studies, of the probable requirements, at different dates in the future, for various categories and grades of seafarers.
3. Such manpower plans should be designed to obtain for shipowners and seafarers as well as for the community as a whole the greatest benefits from technical progress, and to protect from hardship seafarers whose employment is affected thereby.
(1) If they do not formulate the manpower plans themselves, representatives of shipowners' and seafarers' organisations should be consulted in connection with their formulation and subsequent adjustment, and the co-operation and participation of these organisations should be sought in the practical application of the plans.
(2) There should be regular consultation between shipowners and seafarers and their various organisations on employment problems related to technical change.

II. Recruitment and Placement

5. Recruitment of seafarers into the maritime industry should take account of existing manpower plans and of the forecasts contained therein.
(1) Mobility within the maritime labour force should be facilitated by the operation of an effective employment service.
(2) Where the placement of seafarers is the concern of specialised employment offices, and where these offices are responsible for finding jobs ashore, placement in such jobs should be facilitated by close collaboration between those offices and the general public employment service.
(1) Having regard to natural wastage, positive steps should be taken by those responsible to avert or minimise as far as practicable the effects of any material reductions in the number of seafarers employed, by such measures as providing employment opportunities on as wide a range of ships as is reasonable and practicable, and by retraining where appropriate.
(2) The selection of seafarers to be affected by a reduction of the workforce should be made according to agreed criteria and on a basis appropriate to the special conditions of the maritime industry.
8. Up-to-date information should be made available on the nature of technical changes on board ship for the guidance of seafarers and potential seafarers.

III. Training and Retraining

9. Where technical changes require study of the need to train seafarers and to help them to adapt to these changes, account should be taken of the Vocational Training (Seafarers) Recommendation, 1970.
10. Where changes in functions and required skills arising from technical developments are likely to affect seafarers, basic training of those concerned, including certificated personnel, should be reviewed to take account of these changes and to ensure that seafarers are adequately trained for the functions they will be required to carry out.
11. Where the nature of technical developments so requires, consideration should be given to the possibility of retraining seafarers to enable them to take full advantage of the opportunities offered by these developments.
12. There should be consultation with shipowners' and seafarers' organisations, and between them, where technical developments are likely to lead to changes in manning scales or in certification requirements or to significant changes in the duties and functions of various categories of seafarers.
13. Changes in the duties and functions of the various categories of seafarers should be explained clearly and with adequate notice to those involved.

IV. Regularity of Employment and Income

(1) Consideration should be given to schemes providing regularity of employment and income for seafarers and suitable personnel to man ships.
(2) Such schemes might provide, for instance, for contracts of employment with a company or with the industry for seafarers with appropriate qualifications.
15. Consideration should also be given to arranging for seafarers, as part of the national social security system or otherwise, some form of benefits during periods of unemployment.
(1) Efforts should be made to meet the needs of seafarers, particularly older persons, who have special difficulty in adjusting to technical change.
(2) Amongst possible measures, consideration should be given to:
(a) retraining for other industries through government and other schemes that are available; and
(b) the provision of adequate benefits, within the framework of social security systems or other schemes, for those who are required to leave the maritime industry at an earlier age than is generally the case.

V. International Co-operation

17. To avoid hardship to such seafarers employed in foreign ships as are likely to be affected by technical changes aboard ship, the governments and shipowners' and seafarers' organisations concerned should undertake early consultation and should co-operate with a view to:
(a) adjusting the supply of these seafarers gradually to the changing requirements of the foreign countries on whose ships they are employed; and
(b) minimising the effects of redundancy by the joint application of relevant provisions of this Recommendation.

Fonte: ILO