Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Name Change for Council Which Represents Bulk Freight, Container and Tanker Interests

New Title Better Represents the Size of Ship Owners Lobby Group
Shipping News Feature

UK – PHILIPPINES – WORLDWIDE - The International Maritime Employers' Council (IMEC) is a body which argues the employers points of view when negotiating wage and conditions of work agreements with the union representatives of seafarers such as the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) and the organisation, based in London and Manila, has formally announced today that its name change from International Maritime Employers’ Committee is now complete. IMEC represents over 150 global companies operating 9,000+ vessels and employing over 190,000 seafarers of all nationalities. The members are individual shipping companies, both owners and managers, large and small, operating all types of ships, including dry bulk, container, cruise liners, livestock carriers, reefers and tankers with the ships they operate registered in more than 40 different countries.

Whilst many will know the organisation purely as “IMEC”, the members unanimously voted to change the wording behind the letters to reflect its increase in size and sphere of operations during a general meeting held in 2011. It has taken some legalities to enact the name change, but these processes have now been completed and the new name is fully registered. Speaking on the change of name Greg Triantafillou, the IMEC Chairman said:

“IMEC has been steadily expanding its membership base over the last 2-3 years and this has now risen to almost 160 Ship Owners and Managers as full members of IMEC. With this increase, the members decided that the word ‘committee’ did not adequately reflect the size of the association, or indeed the increased areas in which we are working, both in geographical and operational terms. The use of the word ‘council’ does reflect the stature of IMEC and is much more suitable to describe our association.”

IMEC sets out to establish good training practices to ensure the continuity of quality amongst seafaring staff whilst providing a networking opportunity for members to discuss the pay and conditions of crew and argue the owners and operators case in wage negotiations. In 1999 IMEC and the ITF formed a negotiating forum to administer pay and conditions on the ITF’s flag of convenience register and the organisation also plays a key role in the International Bargaining Forum (IBF) collective which negotiates with the unions.

In addition to the name change, IMEC has begun expanding its team of London based secretariat staff. Thomas Axelsen, an experienced senior manager in the marine industry is to join with effect from 5th September as Manager, Agreement Development and Membership Liaison. A Norwegian national, living in the UK, Thomas is a Class 1 Master Mariner and has significant experience working at sea and in union negotiation and communication. Responsible for a large budget and having audit responsibility for manning agents in Poland, Cuba, India, Thailand and the Philippines, together with the establishment of new training initiatives such as a UK based Cadet Programme, Thomas has also been responsible for the successful implementation of the requirements of the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 across the Fred Olsen fleet.

Thomas will be responsible for the continued development of both IBF Collective Agreements and IMEC Agreements in line with international legislation and the procedures adopted, and will act as a direct contact with IMEC Members both on an individual and group basis, to the Secretary General and the IMEC Executive Committee.