Renewal of the National Collective Bargaining Agreement for shipping agencies’ executives

On 13 February 2017 Manageritalia and Federagenti renewed the national collective bargaining agreement for executives of shipping agencies. The social partners involved in the renewal agreement tried to give effective responses in order to improve productivity, increase employment and create supplementary sustainable welfare based on solidarity. The agreement is effective from 1 January 2015 to 31 December 2018.

First, as far as the economic section is concerned, the renewal of the agreement involved a gross monthly wage increase for executives of, respectively, Euro 80 as from 1 March 2017, Euro 110 as from 1 January 2018 and Euro 160 as from 1 December 2018, for an overall gross amount of Euro 350.00 in the 2017/2018 two-year period.

The parties also agreed upon on an increase in the social security contributions payable by the employer in relation to supplementary pension funds (“Fondo Mario Negri”).

As far as the regulatory section is concerned, the current NCBA contains provisions of huge impact, especially as regards the notice period and the amount of the indemnity payable in case of unlawful dismissal of executives (i.e. supplementary indemnity), which has now been significantly reduced compared to the past. The notice period under Section 39 is 6 months if the executive’s length of service is at least 4 years, 8 months if the executive’s length of service is up to 10 years, 10 months if the executive’s length of service is up to 15 years and 12 months if the executive’s length of service is over 15 years.

Furthermore, the social partners agreed upon the following changes concerning supplementary indemnity: from 4 to 8 months for executives with up to 4 years length of service, from 6 to 12 months for executives with 4 to 6 years length of service, from 8 to 14 months for executives with 6 to 10 years length of service, from 10 to 16 months for executives with 10 to 15 years length of service, from 12 to 18 months for executives with over 15 years length of service.

A change was also introduced to the provisions on the “covered period” – i.e. the period during which the job is preserved –, now reduced from 12 to 8 months. However, the covered period was extended to up to 14 months for seriously-ill executives suffering from serious and chronic diseases involving life-saving therapies, to be periodically proved by medical documentary evidence by NHS medical specialists and subject to submission by the person concerned of all the medical certificates required.

Finally, the parties agreed to strengthen the active policies by introducing a voucher of Euro 5,000to be used for reemployment at accredited companies or to self-finance business start-up.

Some other news

The gap is increasing between the Spanish Government and trade unions on how to change national law on maritime labour to bring it into line with EU law, as required by the European Commission last year. Indeed, Brussels referred Spain again to the Court of Justice, which in 2014 declared the non-conformity of Spanish national law to EU law. More specifically, the Court of Justice declared the illegitimacy of the joint-venture called «Sagep», involving an obligation for terminal companies to participate in the share capital of, and only hire workers made available by, Sagep. A further judgement might result in the Spanish Government being imposed a penalty of Euro 134,000, in addition to the Euro 21.5 m fine previously imposed against Spain.

Transport trade unions asked for further clarification from the Ministry of Transport regarding the application of the STCW Manila amendments to certain particular categories (trainee electricians), after some problems arose that are currently preventing boarding. In particular, trainee electricians are prevented from obtaining qualification as «Electrotechnical Rating» in spite of them meeting the requirement of eighteen months of navigation over the previous sixty months.