Assarmatori and Confitarma call for urgent measures for seafarer changes and express opposition to the changes on self-production

On 20 July, during the meeting, held by teleconference, convened by the Ministry of Infrastructures and Transport on the various topics covered by the proclamation of the strike of 24 July, in the presence of Minister Paola De Micheli, Mario Mattioli and Stefano Messina, respectively Presidents of Confitarma and Assarmatori, have once again drawn attention to the serious problem of seafarers’ rotation, asking for immediate responses as well prompt accession by Italy to the agreement signed a few days ago by 13 maritime countries to facilitate crew changes, expressing their disappointment at the failure of our country to sign this agreement.

With regard to the subject of self-production, Mario Mattioli and Stefano Messina reiterated their total opposition to the changes made to the existing legislation, for both method and merit reasons.

“To strike at someone’s abuse – said Mario Mattioli – one cannot strike at the freedom of economic initiative of an entire entrepreneurial category. It is evident, in fact, that this measure will lead to an increase in the already high tariffs applied in Italian ports, with serious damage to the competitiveness of Italian ports, higher costs for shipowners, as well as a penalty for maritime workers not only in terms of employment, but also salaries.
In this respect, we will defend our reasons in every allowed venue”.

Likewise Stefano Messina added that “The discipline of such a complex matter cannot be changed with an impromptu amendment, not preceded by any comparison between the various parties involved. Such a method could only lead to a botched regulatory solution, which in addition to bringing the port services market back 30 years, is in clear conflict with the national and Community antitrust legislation, a circumstance that will lead us to a season of disputes that will certainly not benefit our sector”.

As for as where the renewal of the CCNL is concerned, both Presidents recalled that the interruption of the negotiation for renewal was certainly not determined by the will of the employers’ Associations but rather by the proclamation of the strike by the trade unions, even in the presence of meetings already convened. Any future discussion on the economic part of the contract renewal must take into account the dramatic impact that the pandemic continues to have on the shipping industry, aggravated by the lack of attention to the maritime sector in the measures that have been issued so far, not to mention the unexpected increase in shipowners’ costs caused by the ban on self-production of port operations.

At the end of the meeting, the Ministry undertook to convene a series of meetings on the various open issues, as a result of which the trade unions autonomously decided to suspend the strike of 24 July.