International regulations on minimum wages, new working time rules, social insurance issues or the pan-European reorganisation of training content: These are just a few recent examples showing that “Labour and Social Affairs’ are gaining importance not only for companies, but also for the industry associations.
The Federation of German inland navigation (Bundesverband der Deutschen Binnenschifffahrt e.V., BDB), which is also partner for collective wage agreements of the Verdi trade union for driving staff on inland waterways, responded to this challenge. The Federation has now installed a new Commission, to deal with these topics that are also relevant to entrepreneurs in the cargo and passenger shipping industry.
The inaugural meeting was held on board the training ship “Rhein” in Duisburg-Homberg, on 2 March 2017. The Commission, which already has 10 member companies, is headed by Volker Schuhmacher (B. Dettmer Reederei, Bremen) and managed by Andreas Stommel an the Federation’s office.
The task and objective of the new Commission is to inform about the latest developments, to promote the exchange of views among the operators, to discuss the opportunities and risks of legislative and regulation drafts of the government and the European institutions, and to take a stand with decision makers in politics and administration.
“The entrepreneurs in the river shipping industry are increasingly confronted with new labor and social regulations that have an immediate impact on business operations, whether in the form of documentation and reporting obligations, or in the form of new working time models, or certain obligations of education and training. It is not easy to keep track of that, and mistakes might occur under the new law, which might be punishable under certain circumstances. With the new Commission, we want to inform our members about changes, take their practice assessment and influence the new regulations as a trade association,” said Jens Schwanen CEO BDB.
Established in 1974, the Bundesverband der Deutschen Binnenschifffahrt e.V. (BDB) represents the common commercial interests of entrepreneurs in the cargo and the passenger shipping industry towards politics, administration and other institutions. The members of the BDB are barge owners, shipping companies and cooperatives. Furthermore, supporting members help with the work of the BDB. The Federation based in Duisburg has an office in Berlin and takes a stand on transport policy issues, and is actively involved in shaping the economic environment.