Chapter 5 Employment Practices and Greek Shipping Competitiveness
Research in Transportation Economics, 2007, vol. 21, issue 1, 121-170
During the last decade the number of Greek seamen has continuously been declining under the influence of the seafarers' employment on ocean-going shipping. Exploring the determinants of negative employment trends in the seafaring labour market, we focus on the role of wage inertia in reducing employment, along with structural mismatch problems. The high wages of Greek seafarers are associated with the monopsony power of Greek shipowners over Greek seafarers and disincentives of getting employment on ships not contracted with the Greek Seamen's Pension Fund (NAT). Greek shipowners employ Greek seafarers for the crucial positions of a vessel's crew regardless of the high wages they allocate to the latter, in return for efficiency and loyalty. For the non-critical positions they prefer cheap labour force, which therefore leads to the substitution of Greeks by foreigners and the increased participation of ratings in the formed Greek seafarers' unemployment levels.
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