History of the MTWTU

The Marine Transport Workers’ Trade Union of Ukraine was founded on January 30, 1992 at the initiative of the Black Sea Basin Trade Union Committee and united the main number of employees in all three Ukrainian basins – the Black, Azov and the Danube, as well as students and cadets of the Odessa State Maritime University, the Odessa State Maritime Academy and of specialized maritime secondary educational institutions.

The main Union objectives, duly reflected in its Constitution, were: protection of social and labor rights and socio-economic interests of the Union members; ensuring decent working conditions, organization of cultural and sports work among the Union members and their families.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the forms and methods of work were changing rapidly. A guaranteed workplace and a decent salary became the very best way of social protection.

The Trade Union impact on improving the situation in the maritime industry was conducted primarily through the system of social partnership. The MTWTU concluded 10 Sectoral Agreements with the Ministry of Transport of Ukraine, which guaranteed the growth of social benefits for the maritime complex employees.

In 1993, the MTWTU joined the International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF), becoming the first national ITF affiliated maritime trade union in Ukraine.

In 2002, 10 years after the funding Congress, Michael Kirieiev, the experienced and respected trade unionist, became the leader of the MTWTU. And that’s when a new round of the Union history began.


The Marine Transport Workers’ Trade Union of Ukraine today is the largest national trade union uniting over 78,000 members: seafarers working on ships of Ukrainian and foreign shipowners, port workers, employees of ship repair plants, enterprises of State Hydrography, professors, cadets and students of maritime educational institutions. The number of MTWTU members is confirmed by the Certificate of Representativeness.

The MTWTU conducts an active social dialogue with foreign and local partners. Being a representative trade union, the MTWTU participates in the social dialogue at the national level as part of the Joint Representative Body of trade unions and trade union associations. The MTWTU initiated the establishment of a Joint Representative Body at the sectoral level for collective bargaining on the development and conclusion of the Sectoral Agreement in the field of maritime transport and its further enforcement. And the MTWTU local organizations conducted a constant social dialogue with employers on the conclusion of collective agreements at enterprises, institutions and organizations.

The MTWTU is the only maritime ITF affiliate in Ukraine and the only ITF Inspector in Ukraine Nataliya Yefrimenko is employed with the MTWTU. In Ukraine, the MTWTU exclusively is entitled to conclude collective agreements of IBF standard with foreign shipowners, members of the International Maritime Employers’ Council (IMEC).

The main MTWTU objective always was and remains the protection of labor rights and socio-economic interests of its members.

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