IMEC Press Release: Capt. Belal Ahmed takes over as IMEC Chairman
IMEC Circular (19)24
The International Maritime Employers’ Council’s (IMEC) Annual General Meeting was held in Southampton, UK on the 10th April, where the Chairmanship was handed over from Capt. Rajesh Tandon, to Capt. Belal Ahmed.
When Capt. Tandon originally took over the role of Chairman in 2014, he knew the organisation would be facing a tough negotiation period. The International Bargaining Forum (IBF) had experienced a history of giving seafarer wages increases, despite the state of the shipping markets and the recent negotiations in Indonesia had been no different. However with the shipping market cycle heading towards the lowest point of the depression, the employers’ side of the IBF were going to have to face hard negotiations.
It was perhaps unsurprising that when the IBF met for the next round of negotiations in 2017, the social parties quickly met deadlock. Strong leadership and the maturity of the negotiation process allowed the employers’ and seafarers to come back to the table the following year and agree on a 4 year deal.
Capt. Ahmed’s Chairmanship represents a new chapter in IMEC, as he represents the Ship owning group within IMEC. IMEC represents employers’ across shipowners, ship managers and crew managers, but it has been over 10 years since the Chairman came from a shipowning member. Capt. Belal Ahmed takes over the organisation at a time of substantial growth. Despite the economic downturn, IMEC’s membership has grown by 20% in the past 5 years and has recently announced the largest intake of it’ cadetship programme in the Philippines, with 260 cadets being recruited in 2019.
In the evening of the AGM, IMEC’s members and social partners inaugurated IMEC’s new office in Solent Business Park in Hampshire. Last year the organisation relocated from rented accommodation in London, to a larger company owned premises in Hampshire.