At the Tug conference on 11 March 2015 in Antwerp, ETF affiliates representing workers in tug operations discussed the impact of global maritime business model shifts on towage operations. In a declaration resulting from the conference, the representatives express, among others, their strong concerns over initiatives encouraging tug boat operators to make use of flags of convenience.
Chair of the conference, Richard Crease: “Towage operations require the maximum of skills and competences and are an essential service for ports and maritime safety and security. Discussions on the further opening of the competition must coincide with tackling practices that initiate a downward spiral in terms of social and working conditions”.
The participants confirmed at the conference their rejection of the Port Service Regulation. The proposed regulation would worsen the situation and impose a purely theoretical market model without any social added value, it is stated in the declaration. The ETF and its affiliates commit to seeking a meaningful dialogue with the European Tugowners’ Association to safeguard the future of the European tug industry.
You can download the full declaration here.
Tug conference declaration