Crew cost talks to continue

Feb 21 2014

The ITF and JNG (Joint Negotiating Group) met in Tokyo between19th-20th February, 2014 to continue discussions aimed at a new IBF framework total crew cost (TTC) agreement.

This meeting followed the first round of discussions held in St Petersburg in October 2013 on the occasion of the 10th Anniversary of the International Bargaining Forum (IBF).

Both sides outlined their responses to each other's claims, as presented in St Petersburg, but little progress was made on the key issue of a pay increase with both ITF and the JNG setting out their assessments of the shipping market going forward.

The talks ended this week with a commitment to return to London in April for further discussions.

Commenting on the two days of intense negotiation Dave Heindel, of the ITF seafarers' section, who chaired the talks said: “We have made some progress but clearly there is some way to go - the key sticking point is the industry's ability to afford a pay increase for our members who have suffered the brunt of the financial collapse and its impact on world trade.

“We have differing views about that but the past two days have helped greatly to clarify the rationale behind many of the items that make up the JNG's claim,” he said.

Speaking at the IBF meeting in Tokyo, JNG chairman Tsutomu Iizuka said: “The JNG has commenced the 2014 negotiation process and has engaged in open dialogue with the ITF.  There is certainly some common understanding that shipowners have suffered financially over the past few years, but both parties will actively engage to find a joint approach over the coming months.’

The IBF next meets in London on 14th to 16th April, 2014, while the final round of negotiations is scheduled for 3rd to 5th June.

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