Registering a ship under a flag of convenience has far-reaching legal consequences – general public law such as the German Constitution, for example, no longer applies. Some protective regulations for employees like the Seamen’s Act, the Industrial Relations Act or the Continued Payment of Remunerations Act are no longer valid.
Similar regulations for your personal protection cannot come into effect until an ITF agreement has been signed for your ship. You as well as the other employees on your ship may also set up a shipboard representation. This is – so to speak – your union representation on board, which maintains contact to the ITF and ver.di for you and mediates between crew and ship management or owner in case of disagreements.
Some shipowners have a longstanding practice of cooperating with seamen’s councils. These representatives are elected by all (German and foreign) seafarers working in a shipping company.
Ver.di’s seafarers division offers support in this area.