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Chinese Seafarer Conditions: After Ratification of the MLC 2

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Kelsey Newman

on 1 July 2014

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Transcript of Chinese Seafarer Conditions: After Ratification of the MLC 2

Chinese Seafarer Conditions: What will happen if China Ratifies the MLC 2006?
Research Question
If China ratifies the International Labor Organization's (ILO), Maritime Labor Convention (MLC) 2006 legislation, how will it alter Chinese seafarer working conditions?

Belcher, P., Sampson, H., Thomas, M., Viega, J., and Zhao, M. (2003). Women Seafarers: Global Employment Policies and Practices Geneva. International Labor Organization, 128+xvi pp.

Bin Wu (2004). Participation in the Global Labor Market: Experience and Responses of Chinese Seafarers. Maritime Policy & Management: The Flagship Journal of International Shipping and Port Research, 31:1, 69- 82, DOI: 10.1080/0308883032000168992.

Cacdac, H. J. (2010). The 2006 ILO Maritime Labor Convention: Prospects for Philippine Ratification. Ateneo Law Journal, 55(1), 47-125.

The Central Intelligence Agency (n.d.). The World Factbook. In Country Comparison :: Exports. Retrieved from https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2078rank.html

Fink, A. (2003). How to Design Survey Studies. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.

Fink, A. (2003). How to Sample in Surveys. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.

International Labor Conference: Maritime Labor Conference 2006. Retrieved from

Literature Review

Background on MLC 2006
What is the MLC 2006? -As stated by the ILO, it “desires to create a single coherent instrument embodying as far as possible all up-to-date standards of existing International Maritime Labor Conventions and Recommendations, as well as the fundamental principles to be found in other International Labor Conventions” (International Labor Conference, 2006).
Enforcement: regualr inspections
Regulations: minimum age, health, qualified to perform duties
China's Current Seafarer working Conditions
Ratification of the MLC 2006 in the Philippines
China and The MLC 2006





References Contd...
Merchant, Toby D. (2004). Recognizing ILO Rights to Organize and Bargain Collectively; Grease in China’s Transition to a Socialist Market Economy. Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law, 36, 223-253.

Oishi, S. (2003). How to Conduct In-Person Interviews for Surveys. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.

Pengfei, Z. & Minghua, Z. (2014). Maritime Labor policy in China: Restructuring under the ILO’s Maritime Labor Convention 2006. Marine Policy, 50: A, 111-116, DOI: 10.1016/j.marpol.2014.02.013.

Wu, B. (2004). Maritime Policy & Management. Retrieved from http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/0308883032000168992#.U6eKWihnDTo.

Wu, B., Yao, S., & Chen, J. (2013, Mar 27). China's Development and Harmonization: Towards a Balance with Nature, Society and the International Community. Routledge, Chapman & Hall.

Zhao, M. (2002). Work, Employment & Society. Retrieved from
China is considering ratifying the MLC 2006
Policy makers, ship owners and seafarers gain a greater understanding for upcoming changes
Conducted by standardized person-to-person interviews, given to Chinese seafarers
Specific focus: on how the MLC 2006 will alter working conditions for seafarers should China ratify the document

Thank you!
China contributes a large percentage of the world’s seafarer workforce
Wage rates and healthcare benefits will be affected
Analyzing margin of change is the target of this paper.
Inform relevant parties of this margin.
Further studies should be done on the potential global effects these adaptations could cause.

Current wages
"Why should Chinese seafarers be so much ‘cheaper’ in the global labor market despite its country becoming increasingly powerful?" (Wu, 2004).
Cutting Costs: employees, medical personnel
The MLC 2006 establishes wages, work hours and accessibility to medical services and thus is potentially an important game changer.
Passing regulations in developing nations can be problematic since there are so many opportunities to fail.
(A) a country must have the necessary laws already in place or approved in accordance with its constitutional processes
(B) it must also be sure that it will have necessary administrative and technical infrastructures for implementing those laws and for ensuring that that are being properly implemented (Ateneo L.J., 2010, p. 124)
China & the Phillpines
Reasons why China should ratify the MLC 2006.:

1. To stay competitive in the international shipping market.

2. China’s ports would risk sheltering ships seeking to avoid the penalties for being substandard and not meeting Port State Control (PSC) requirements.
marine pollution and safety hazards.

3. Attract a decent workforce and improve seafarer benefits. These improved benefits will help develop China’s exporting capabilities with more qualified seafarers. (Pengfei, Z. & Minghua, Z., 2014, p. 114-115)

Male seafarers, docked in Hong Kong, with an age range of 26- 42, with no less than 10 years of experience
No sample size limit
Female population exluded
Convience Sampling
Possible small sample size
Subjects can refuse survey
Subjects can contribute to bias in data

Computers with prepared surveys
Audio equipment (software)
Cost effective and allows for faster analysis of the data
Sabine Oishi’s book How to Conduct In-Person Interviews for Surveys (2003)
Designed to provide nomial and ordinal data
Quantitative/ Qualitative statements
Multiple Choice and Open Ended Questions
Chosen to improve response rates and data collection speed
Standardized questionnaires
Analyze and compare
1. This standardized interview survey will be conducted in person onboard ships docked in Hong Kong.
2. We will obtain permission to board from the ship’s respective captains and port security.
3. Administer the survey questions to the crew members.
4. We will also record the seafarers’ responses on computers and later transcribe the audio.
5. Compare analyzed seafarer responses to requirements in MLC 2006 legislation to determine margin of change.

Why the audio recording method?
Why not speech-to-text programs?
Toby Merchant (2004) stating that China should ratify key ILO documents because not doing so will result in instability
social stability, China’s economy, and market competition equilibrium (Merchant, 2004, p. 252)

Challenges China will face are that some shipowners believe that ratifying the MLC 2006 will increase operating costs to meet the new requirements. (Pengfei, Z. & Minghua, Z., 2014, p. 114-115)

Another challenge is that various government authorities are debating about whose jurisdiction the legislation should be implemented under:
The Ministry of Transportation
The Ministry of Labor and Social Security.
(Pengfei, Z. & Minghua, Z., 2014, p. 114-115)

China and the MLC 2006 Contd....
Full transcript