Our industry is
responsible for 90% of global trade. Historically, we have been critical to the
development of national economies and global prosperity. We remain the
lifeblood of the global economy and key to the future recovery, including the
jobs of billions of people, as the world responds to Covid-19.
But, as an
industry, we can only help move the world forward from this pandemic, and
continue to transport the world’s vital goods, if working conditions on ships
comply with international maritime regulations. That’s because these
regulations guarantee the health, safety, security and welfare of the heart of
our industry: the world’s seafarers.
Seafarers need an industry that values them
Seafarers need an
industry that values them, their contribution, and their human rights.
Seafarers need free, fair and safe workplaces.
employers who are members of the Joint Negotiating Group have worked tirelessly
to facilitate crew changes at great financial cost, yet, over 400,000 seafarers
remain stranded working on vessels…
We call all stakeholders to not apply pressure on seafarers or coerce
them in any way to extend their contracts
We are uniting to
call for ship owners, charterers, management companies, manning agents, hiring
partners and all other stakeholders to commit to not applying pressure on
seafarers or coercing them in any way to extend their contracts. Neither should
they deny seafarers the ability to exercise their human right to stop working,
leave ships, and return home.
IMEC Chairman Capt
Belal Ahmed said “It is important that seafarers are not disadvantaged for
merely standing up for themselves when they have completed their contracts and
are mentally and physically not ready to continue to work safely.”
The ITF’s General
Secretary, Stephen Cotton said the federation and its affiliates were urging
all stakeholders in the industry to take responsibility for supporting crew
change wherever they could.
Seafarers have a real fear that if they speak or stand up that their
careers could be over: ITF’s General Secretary, Stephen Cotton
“Seafarers have a
real fear that if they speak or stand up that their careers could be over. Fear
of blacklisting prevents them from enforcing their own worker and human rights.
Given the mental and physical fatigue caused by extended time on board, it is
more important than ever during this crew change crisis that seafarers are able
to speak up. We will be coming down hard on anyone in the industry who think
they can get away with targeting seafarers who use their rights to reject
contract extensions. Our industry is better than that,” said Cotton.
It is the responsibility
and duty of all maritime stakeholders to highlight the dire situation faced by
seafarers. Most importantly, however, it is the responsibility of the
international leaders to acknowledge the dedication and efforts of seafarers in
this unprecedented pandemic, and accept that their plight can no longer be