The Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) and the Conference of Maritime Manning Agencies (COMMA) have joined forces in supporting the move of Associated Marine Officers’ and Seamen’s Union of the Philippines (AMOSUP) to protect Filipino seafarers from being tasked by shipowners and operators to do the job “lashing and unlashing of cargo.”
The AMOSUP headed by its president, Dr. Conrado F. Oca, earlier aired the union’s unified support to a -policy issued by the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) that inhibits shipowners or principals from asking seafarers to do lashing and/or unlashing of cargo, as this is violative of ITF Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) Article 3, unless there is a prior agreement with the local ITF dockers’ union. “Companies, masters or officers asking seafarers to carry out lashing and unlashing work who do not have written permission are liable for breach of this contract (CBA).”
Oca had stressed the nature of such task requires specific, meticulous training, as securing of cargo is dangerous work. “If this is done by untrained workers, this could cause serious injuries, or even death,” he said.
From Marina side, Administrator Marcial Q. C. Amaro III announced that his agency’s maritime safety service (MSS) headed by Engr. Daniel Reyes, conducted “safe cargo-lashing and unlashing” seminar-conference last month at Bay View Plaza Hotel on Roxas boulevard, Manila. World maritime safety experts led by a Japanese team conducted the lectures, where Marina safety personnel gained safety measures on cargo-handling.
More seminars cum workshops of such kind were expected said Amaro and Reyes, as these are needed by seafarers deployed aboard cargo ships.
For his part, COMMA president Capt. Rodolfo D. Estampador, who earlier met with Marina officials at a free-wheeling dialogue with Marina representatives at the Manila Yacht Club, strongly signified his opposition to require seafarers do lashing and unlashing of cargo.