Cociancich Decree: Grimaldi starts disembarking non-EU citizens
A few dozen seafarers recruited on 5 ships will be partially replaced by former TTT Lines' workers. ITF confides the law will be enforced
“After the additional stand still clause, the provision will come into force after being approved by the European Government. However the continuous collaboration with DG Competition has finally completed the dossier”.
According to a statement issued by the Department for European Policies of the Council of Ministers' Presidency, although the new provision hasn't been formally approved by Brussels, final green light will be finally given.
In essence the new regulation governing the International Registry, for ro-ro and ro-pax sectors, will grant social security and tax benefits to ships operating cabotage services among Italian ports exclusively if recruiting Italian or EU seafarers, with no further waiver ensued from stopovers abroad or specific agreements with unions.
The afore mentioned statement must be also shared with Grimaldi of Naples, deemed as the leading beneficiary of (competitor) Vincenzo Onorato's current corporate structure, who's been fighting for 2 years against the regulation governing the recruitment of seafarers on board Italian ferries. According to Ship2Shore, a few dozen non-EU seafarers are currently being disembarked
from 4-5 Grimaldi's ships operating cabotage services.
Naples-based company formally denied the fact, but rumours were unofficially confirmed by the same group, by ITF, International Transport Workers' Federation, whose representatives in Italy confirmed having recently received, also from London headquarters, several request for clarification from interested seafarers or their families, therefore having started inspections to assess compliance with the Italian labour contract. In order to replace dismissed workers, Grimaldi would be also recruiting ex New TTT Lines seafarers.
ITF confides the new regulation will be complied with
Francesco Di Fiore, Italian coordinator of ITF inspectorate, was appointed to handle non-EU disembarkation affair.
How have you been informed about the affair?
“Seafarers contacted ITF in London which informed the Italian inspectorate to evaluate the fact, while I started receiving e-mails and phone calls from interested seafarers and their families, worried for the unexpected job loss”.
And the reason is the Cociancich decree?
“Based on the statements issued by ships' captains, some of these ships gathered non-EU seafarers
to inform them they were about to be disembarked due to the upcoming Cociancich decree. We think shipowners targets complying with the new regulation even before it will enter into force in order not to lose the requirements needed to be listed on the international registry.
How many ships and seafarers are involved?
“Apparently, 5 ships and 80 seafarers coming from Colombia, Honduras, Guatemala and the Philippines ”.
Is Grimaldi complying with disembarkation contractual provisions?
“The so called non-doms contract states that disembarkation ordered by a shipowner, besides repatriation, also provides for one month advance notice and two months salary if disembarkation occurs before set deadline. ITF labour inspectorate will attempt to assess whether contractual terms are complied with”.
Do you know if other companies are taking the same actions?
“No I don't. It is important that shipowners inform involved seafarers on time. The recruitment of European and particularly Italian staff, pursuant to Cociancich provision, is strongly supported.
In compliance with the afore mentioned regulation I was informed that some TTT Lines seafarers have been recruited by Grimaldi, however shipowners will have to handle redundancies with the utmost attention”.