From time to time, the ITF will sign an agreement directly with the shipowner. If you are covered by an ITF agreement, but there is no ITF-linked union in your home country, the ITF will represent you with the employer in business matters. Accommodation standards should normally meet the criteria set out in the RELEVANT ILO instruments for the accommodation of crew members. Something is wrong with the high-level management of the ITF, and affiliated unions should take note of it. Double standards against ITF union members are unacceptable. If this is not corrected, the ITF, an organization with a centuries-old history, will collapse. On the one hand, the ITF therefore has many activities under the slogan “No place to hide” and if it finds ships where wages are below the ITF rate, it boycotts them until the owner pays the wages on the ITF scale. On the other hand, the ITF tolerates that some affiliated unions reduce the wages of seafarers below the lower-than-average shipowners` rates. Finally, the Panamanian flag and Cyprus are on the ItF`s list of flags of convenience. To find out if your ship is covered by an ITF agreement, click Look Up Affiliated unions are strictly prohibited from entering into collective agreements that are not the standard agreement. In addition, the ITF must give its approval before an agreement is signed. If it appears that an affiliated union has entered into a substandal agreement, sanctions will follow, possibly to the extent that they will be excluded from the ITF.
At least five years ago, the rules were the same for everyone. All shipowners around the world knew that no union affiliated would enter into a collective agreement with a lower pay scale than the ITF. And the sailors knew that if the ship was covered by ITF, their salaries would not be lower than the standard scale. However, recent practices are a double standard. Some affiliated unions may enter into other collective agreements, others may not.