Business News of Sunday, 7 April 2013
The Minister of Employment and Labour Relations on Friday held a meeting with leaders of Ghana Merchant Navy Officers’ Association to the amendment of the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006.
Mr Lambert Hatton, Chairman of the Association said members are concerned about the amendment of the MLC 2006 before it is due for implementation in August. He said issues arising from the convention do not seek to secure the employment of seafarers both in the country and abroad.
Mr Hatton noted that the industry is faced with the problem of labour unemployment, and if the convention is not amended as soon as possible, its implementation would cause much damage to the industry.
He said structures must be put in place before the implementation of the convention for Ghana to meet the provision of engagement and bilateral agreement of the convention. He called on the Minister to use his office to help create conditions for the employment of the youth who may be interested in taking up sailing.
Nii Armah Ashietey, Minister of Employment and Labour Relations gave the assurance that his office would try as much as possible to work on the amendment in order to table it before Cabinet before the end of the month. He said he would ensure that the amendment would be done and then translated into shipping laws.
“I assure you that when all is set, I will invite you to come and have a look at it and endorse it before we send it to Parliament,” he said. Nii Ashietey noted that seafarers need better conditions at sea to work comfortably. He said the convention would protect them from being exploited by agencies and other organisations as has been the norm in previous years.
He said implementation of laws in the country has been a major problem over the years, but the Ministry would ensure that the status quo is reversed through the establishment of a committee as well as a desk to manage all maritime issues.