Collective bargaining policy is an important field of activity for the VDR. Whether for the collective agreement (MTV-See) or the current rates of pay agreement (HTV-See) for the German shipping industry, as an employers’ association, the VDR is the negotiating partner of the German seafarers’ union ver.di and represents the interests of the member companies that have joined together to form the VDR’s tariff community.
For its members and the industry, the VDR’s negotiating authority means regulated labour relations without distortions of competition. A successful, employment-oriented collective bargaining policy includes differentiated and flexible agreements. The sectoral collective agreement largely keeps conflicts out of the companies and thereby ensures an undisturbed business climate within them. Especially in a highly networked economy based on the division of labour, this offers companies planning security.
But since shipping does not stop at any borders, the VDR is also actively involved in collective bargaining policy at the international level wherever this is possible and appropriate. This also involves engaging in intensive dialogue with the seafarers’ organisations – including the ITF, AMOSUP and others – to jointly design competitive and fair working conditions as part of a social dialogue. The VDR is a member of the IMEC, participates in international collective bargaining efforts within the IBF, and has an in-house working group on international collective bargaining (AIT). International maritime shipping only functions within a fair framework in which the social partners act together. For this reason, the VDR actively supports the minimum wage set every three years at the ILO in Geneva, which is the only benchmark of its kind in the world.