international law quarterly
fall 2018 • volume XXXIV, no. 2
Big Changes Ahead, continued
35 (7), which states, “All arbitrations must be brought by or on behalf of Seafarers in their own names, and not on behalf of others on an unnamed basis, but similar claims asserted on behalf of individual Seafarers may be grouped in one arbitration.” It appears that so long as numerous seafarers are willing to use their proper names and have similar claims, they can be “grouped” into a single arbitration. “Unnamed” claimants, however, are precluded from proceeding.
There Is a Time Limit In the past, various CBAs between the Norwegian Seafarers’ Union and other cruise lines had incorporated a statute of limitations. The appearance of a statute of limitations was never permanently incorporated into those CBAs, however. It appeared in some and not in
others, even though the same cruise line might have been involved. The 2017 CBA between Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. and the Norwegian Seafarers’ Union contains, for the first time, a statute of limitations requiring the seafarer to commence the arbitration within a specified time or be barred from bringing the claim. The statute of limitations is set at three years for personal injury or death claims, and two years for all other claims. If the claims are not brought within the specified time frames, they “will not be recognized and will be time-barred.” Article 35 (2) provides: All arbitrations must be commenced within two (2) years from the date of the occurrence giving rise to the grievance or dispute, or the date the Seafarer knew or should have known of the occurrence giving rise to the grievance or dispute, except for claims for personal injury or death, which must be commenced within three (3)
Fall 2018, volume XXXIV, no.2