Ponant committed to improve wellbeing at work for its non-EU seafarers. Standard minimum salaries raised, breakdown of overtime hours reviewed, and social security cover revised

Ponant (Logo)Standard minimum salaries raised, breakdown of overtime hours reviewed, and social security cover revised: on 8 September, PONANT and the International Transport Federation (ITF) signed a collective agreement, the first in France for the cruise sector.

This agreement is in line with the “Explore to inspire” roadmap led by Hervé Gastinel, CEO of PONANT, who places the human and social dimension at the heart of the company’s strategy to move upmarket, become more international, and socially responsible.

Recognised as the largest global organisation in the transport sector, ITF connects 700 trade unions from 150 countries, providing a voice for 20 million employees working in transport worldwide. It took six years of negotiations, conducted from 2016 to 2022, to address every social issue regarding PONANT’s non-EU seafarers working under the Maritime Labour Convention, as Europeans seafarers already benefit from their own national schemes. From recruitment conditions to wages, including social security cover, working hours and contract terminations conditions, all the topics have been approached.

Benefits that will apply from 1st January 2023 aboard PONANT ships include overtime being counted from 44 hours (instead of the current 48), standard minimum salaries raised for operational staff, an extension to the sick leave period and a raise in death and disability compensations.

The ITF agreement, negotiated by both François Vielfaure, Special Advisor for Marine Operations, and Thomas Verdier-Fuentes, Fleet Crewing Director, is a milestone on this maritime company’s CSR road map, the central pillar of which is focused on employees.

A crucial decision according to Human Resources Director Thierry Le Carpentier: “PONANT is above all a human adventure, firmly anchored in four core values: goodwill, responsibility, a pioneering spirit and expertise. Acutely aware that it’s thanks to our employees’ commitment that PONANT maintains its course, despite the health and economic crises rocking the world, the Human Relations and Resources and Operations teams strive constantly to improve wellbeing at work, skills development, and inclusion”.

The agreement was signed on 8 September in the company’s head office in Marseille, attended by the team mobilised for these negotiations, together with ITF France Coordinator Pascal Pouille and PONANT’s CEO Hervé Gastinel. “This agreement is a major commitment which positions PONANT at the best social level, on an international scale. Our seafarers can be proud of it” concludes Hervé Gastinel.