The Norwegian Government has ruled against the re-flagging of Color Line vessels to the Norwegian International Ship Register (NIS) flag.
This is a significant and hard fought victory for Norwegian seafarers and the ongoing ITF cabotage campaign, the transport union said.
ITF affiliate, the Norwegian Seafarers Union (NSU), won the fight to keep the vessels under the Norwegian Ordinary Ship Register (NOR), securing the jobs and maintaining the wages and conditions of 700 Norwegian seafarers.
Johnny Hansen, NSU president (pictured), told the ITF: “This is a victory for these brave seafarers, which has only been possible because of the solidarity from the labour movement and the ITF family. Pressure from the international trade union movement has yielded results.
“This result means that Color Line – a profitable shipping company – cannot replace national seafarers with cheaper foreign labour.
“We’d like to thank the Color Line employees and their families, their shop steward Ronny Øksnes, Ap, SV, and Sp og Rødt for fighting alongside every step of the way, as well as the political leaders who have helped secure the victory.
“This is a major win for our country’s seafarers, and the country itself. Enforcing and maintaining cabotage safeguards our strategic interests, provides jobs, brings added economic value while also protecting national security and the environment,” said Hansen.
Jim Given, chair of the ITF cabotage task force added: “As the government was poised to let Color Line flag to the NIS and throw the lives of 700 Norwegian seafarers into turmoil, the union fought back and saved all of the jobs.
“We are proud to work with the NSU, Johnny Hansen, Ronny Øksnes and all the hard-working executives at the NSU. The world was watching you fight and win this major cabotage battle,” he said.