Global Trade At Risk As ITF Orders Seafarers To Leave Ships Amid Covid-19 Failures

Spread the love

The Global trade is currently at the risk of total collapse if urgent measures are not taken by world leaders. This is because the The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) and its affiliated seafarers’ unions says that as from Tuesday it will now assist hundreds of thousands of seafarers to exercise their right to stop working, leave ships, and return home amid Covid-19 failures.

In a press statement released on Monday, and signed by ITF Seafarers’ Section Chair, Dave Heindel, the body said the new approach, which could be highly disruptive to global trade, comes after insufficient action by governments to designate seafarers as ‘key workers’, exempt them from Covid-19 travel restrictions and facilitate repatriation of around 200,000 seafarers who have been caught up in the crew change crisis.

“We are sending a very strong message to seafarers: you have selflessly extended and extended your contracts to do your part to keep critical supplies flowing around the world during this pandemic,”

“Some seafarers have been onboard for more than a year, and over the course of this pandemic many have been prevented by governments from coming ashore even for a walk and alarmingly refused emergency medical care. Frankly, we have seafarers killing themselves at the prospect of this misery continuing without end. They call them ‘floating prisons’. This situation is intolerable to the ITF family,” said Heindel

Also speaking, ITF President and Dockers’ Section chair Paddy Crumlin reiterated the repeated warnings given to governments from unions and industry of this unfolding humanitarian crisis: “We have urged them on the consequences of tired, fatigued, depressed crew – to trade, to the environment. We have worked with industry and the international community to offer solutions.”

“But enough is enough. We have to draw a line in the sand and today is the day that we make it crystal clear to governments, that from June 16, seafarers are going to start enforcing their right to stop working and to return home. No more contract extensions.” said Crumlin.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Web%20Banner_v4.png

ITF General Secretary Steve Cotton said all that governments need to do is make practical exceptions to coronavirus restrictions, and allow these key workers to transit through their territories and return to their families. A few small changes by national governments would allow seafarers to get home, and be relieved by a fresh crew, he said.

“If a seafarers wants off a ship, then the ITF, our affiliated unions and the ITF inspectorate will do everything we can to assist them. We fully expect port state authorities in all countries where ships dock to honour their obligations under the Maritime Labour Convention to get these seafarers safely home. That is their legal obligation,”

“If getting seafarers off these ships causes chaos in supply chains, if ports back up from Singapore to San Francisco, and if this causes ship insurance providers to pull their coverage and global trade to grind to a halt; then that is on the heads of politicians, not the world’s seafarers,”

“Seafarers have done our part in this pandemic, and plenty more. Enough is enough,” said Steve Cotton.

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

You May Also Like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.