All the employees working on off shore casinos in Goa would be termed seafarers, if India accepts the Maritime Labour Convention adopted in Geneva, a senior official said.
“India is yet to endorse the convention adopted in Geneva. It has been endorsed by almost all the seafarer nations,” Dr Suresh Idnani, trustee, International Committee on Seafarers Welfare, told reporters here.
The casino operators would be required to provide all the employment benefits to those working on the casinos if they are considered 'seafarers'.
Goa is the only Indian state to have ships with casinos on it. The gaming ships are anchored in the Mandovi river across the capital city of Panaji, which has attracted lot of opposition.
Dr Idnani said that currently only the staff members maintaining the ship are covered as seafarers. “Once the convention is endorsed, even those working as entertainers or on gaming tables or even security personnel would be termed seafarers,” he added.
Clarifying the argument that since casino ships don't sail in the sea, the staff cannot be termed as seamen,
Dr Idnani said that “even if it floats on water, the safety aspect comes into effect,” he said.
The casino operators, who are opposing the status of a seafarer to the employees will have to pay proper salaries and all the employment benefits covered under seafarers' rules.
They will have to give provident fund, gratuity and medical benefits even to their families, Dr Idnani said.