Manila, Philippines was the host country for the 18th Norwegian and Asian Seafarer’s Committee(NASCO) Meeting held last February 27, 2008 at the Mariner’s Home in Malate, Manila. The event was held in conjunction with the 25th Asian Seafarers Summit held on February 26, 2008, and in cooperation with the Philippine host union, the Associated Marine Officers’ and Seamen’s Union of the Philippines (AMOSUP). It gathered delegates of different seafarer’s unions from Norway and from countries in the Asia Pacific Region. Present were 48 delegates from 20 affiliated unions.
Meetings by NASCO (organized in 1990) has been held continuously for the past 18 years in different locations with a view of securing closer cooperation between and amongst Norwegian and Asian ITF affiliated Seafarer’s Unions and also to facilitate the engagement of the unions’ seafarer members on vessels registered under NIS and on Norwegian beneficial owned vessels under flags of convenience (FOC) under conditions of equity. It also aims to discuss matters of common interests between participating unions.
The meeting in Manila initially discussed the adoption of the agenda that was covered in their 17th meeting in Jakarta, Indonesia on February 27, 2007. Early during the discussion, the Committee received a surprise visit from the Honorable Secretary Arturo Brion of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). Secretary Brion delivered a short message on the cooperation and support being extended by the government to the seafaring industry and the concept of unionism in the Philippines.
After his brief message, a roundtable discussion on topics regarding ITF’s new strategy of “organizing globally”, the activities of the campaign on FOC, revisions and the status on the NIS and Model Agreement CBAs for different countries, reports from the SCOCEEN as well as the simultaneous adoption of new issues and resolutions were covered in the meeting which ended in the early afternoon of the same day.
Later that day, the Norwegian Maritime Unions (NMU) hosted a cocktail reception at the ECJ Atrium to introduce their service office in Manila, FIL-NOR GAIN, to the participating unions’ delegates. A dinner reception immediately followed at the AMOSUP Convention Hall which marked the culmination of the 18th NASCO Meeting.