FOCs

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The ITF is unique amongst international trade union organisations in having a powerful influence on wages and conditions of one particular group of workers, seafarers working on ships flying Flags of Convenience (FOCs).

FOCs provide a means of avoiding labour regulation in the country of ownership, and become a vehicle for paying low wages and forcing long hours of work and unsafe working conditions. Since FOC ships have no real nationality, they are beyond the reach of any single national seafarers' trade union.

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