International labour standards have grown into a system of tools for effecting work and social policy, backed by a supervisory system designed to address a variety of problems at the national level. Historically, the International Labour Organization (ILO) has acted as the international organisation which develops a system of international labour standards aimed at promoting opportunities for decent and productive work, in conditions of freedom, equity, security and dignity. In today’s globalized economy, international labour standards form a component of the international framework for the global economy. The port and maritime world could not remain unaffected. As the organizational systems of maritime transport and the working life of those employed in the sector changed, international conventions were agreed to and put forward for ratification by UN member countries, following ILO discussions.
PortEconomics co-director Thanos Pallis and member Aimilia Papachristou along with Nikolaos Farantouris from Piraeus University, Greece and Nefeli Katsafourou, Competition Authority, Hellenic Republic, Greece presented their latest research on “Reforming Port Labour: Challenges to the ratification of ILO Port Labour Conventions in Greece”, during the annual conference of the International Association of Maritime Economists – IAME 2013, that was held in Marseilles, France.
This study examines the challenges faced by the Greek state in adjusting the rules governing its port labour system to present day conditions, and on whether the ILO Conventions serve contemporary needs.
In particular it discusses the outcome of the social dialogue that took place in order to avoid social upheaval and ensure effective implementation of new measures. The gap analysis presented for the provisions of the national legislation and those included in the two ILO port Conventions; “ILO Convention C137 on the Social Repercussions of New Methods of Cargo Handling in Docks” and “ILO Convention C152 on the Occupational Safety and Health in Dock Work”, concludes on the extent that the ratification of either Convention would facilitate labour reforms.