Geneva, March 1997
Committee on Sectoral and Technical Meetings
and Related Issues
THIRD ITEM ON THE AGENDA
1. The Joint Maritime Commission held its 28th Session in Geneva on 22 October 1996, under the chairmanship of Mr. Mounir Zaharan, Ambassador, Permanent Mission of the Arab Republic of Egypt to the United Nations. Ambassador Zaharan substituted for Mr. Arrate Mac Niven, Chairman of the Governing Body and ex-officio Chairman of the Joint Maritime Commission, who was unable to attend. The representatives of the Employers' group and Workers' group of the Governing Body were Mr. E. Hoff and Mr. J. Calamatta respectively. The Commission elected as Vice-Chairmen Mr. D. Lindemann (Shipowner member, Germany) and Mr. John Fay (Seafarer member, United States). A list of those attending the meeting is given in Annex I to the Commission's report, which is appended.(1)
2. The agenda consisted of a single item: updating of the minimum basic wage figure for able seamen, contained in the Wages, Hours of Work and Manning (Sea) Recommendation, 1958 (No. 109), or in any instrument adopted by the International Labour Conference which supersedes Recommendation No. 109. The Office had prepared a report as the basis for the Commission's discussions.(2)
3. In this resolution the Commission considered the list of 45 countries and areas contained in the Office report as currently representative of major maritime nations or major suppliers of seafarers. The Commission considered that the formula used to revise the amount of the basic pay or wages for a calendar month of service for an able seamen should otherwise be maintained as it pertains to currency exchange rates, consumer prices and weighting, and that productivity should also be addressed when the Commission found this fact relevant.
4. The Commission considered that the amount of US$ 435 should be regarded as the equivalent, as of 1 January 1998, of the amount referred to in Paragraph 10 of the Seafarers' Wages and Hours of Work and the Manning of Ships Recommendation, 1996 (No. 187). It urged member States to apply the amount of US$ 435 with effect from 1 January 1998.
5. The Commission also agreed that the amount of US$ 435 should be used as the base for recalculation purposes and that the formula should measure changes in consumer prices, currency exchange rates and weighting to cover the period of adjustment time which will start from 1 January 1997 up to the most current month for which data are available, when the amount of the basic pay or wages for able seamen is considered for revision by the Joint Maritime Commission at sessions in the future. It agreed that, when updated data covering the period from 1 January 1997 through the next full period of adjustment are not available from the Office, a preliminary adjustment of the amount set by this resolution should initially be performed using the most current data available, and then the monthly average amount of change in the result should be extended to cover the full period of adjustment. It also suggested that the next Office report should continue to provide preliminary data on all factors measured in the calculation, but the Office should not propose a revised amount until all updated data are made available to the Joint Maritime Commission. It agreed that any revised amount mentioned in the future will be effective as of 1 January 2000.
6. The Commission also reminded the Governing Body of an earlier proposal by the Joint Maritime Commission that a small bipartite wage committee composed of six Shipowner and six Seafarer representatives be convened every alternate year between sessions of the Joint Maritime Commission for the purpose of updating the amount of the basic pay or wages for able seamen in accordance with the prescribed formula, it being understood that such a committee should not be convened in the year before a session of the Joint Maritime Commission.
7. The Committee on Sectoral and Technical Meetings and Related Issues may wish to recommend that the Governing Body --
Geneva, 17 February 1997.
Point for decision: Paragraph 7.