Seatrade Maritime is part of the Informa Markets Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Unions criticise NSB for possible 'flagging out'

Unions criticise NSB for possible 'flagging out'
A potential move by Germany’s Reederei NSB to “flag out” of the EU has drawn criticism from UK union Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT), which describes the development as a “race to the bottom”.  

In June, the company announced its intention to look for a new registry in 2015, describing the stipulations of the German flag as "no longer economically feasible”, adding that the company would “endanger its position if it continued to operate vessels under German flag”.

The move would result in huge job cuts for the 500 EU employees currently working aboard the Reederei NSB fleet, which has more vessels under the German flag than any other ship management firm.

Mick Cash, acting general secretary of shipping union RMT, said that the re-flagging would be "going for the cheapskate option”, and called for a reforming of the United Nations Convention on the Laws of the Sea (UNCLOS) “to prevent shipowners from exploiting seafarers through social dumping”.

“It is indicative of the state of the industry that yet another European operator is looking to flag out on the basis that they don’t want to pay European rates,” said Cash. “The EU and national governments have talked tough but done nothing to close the loopholes that allow this dodging of minimum wage rates in the shipping industry.

“The news that NSB is threatening to join the ranks of the flagged-out, wage-dodging companies reinforces the point that this is an issue that will not go away and that the race to the bottom continues.”