After weeks of calling on governments to facilitate maritime crew changes and designate the millions of workers in critical transport industries as key workers, the International Transport Works’ Federation (ITF) issued a statement to seafarers saying simply, “Enough is enough.”
The ITF had repeatedly said in its calls for action that June 16 was the deadline for governments to implement the IMO protocols that would make crew changes possible. Now the ITF has increased the pressure speaking directly to the over 200,000 seafarers that it believes are waiting to disembark from the world’s ships and return home. The message says, “You have done your job, performed your duties, and accepted that you were unable to return home in the beginning in order to contain the spread of Covid-19 – but no more.”
Highlighting that many countries have slowly started to ease coronavirus pandemic restrictions after 2-3 months of lockdown and are now reopening stores and services and allowing people to meet friends and families, the ITF says that hundreds of thousands of seafarers worldwide remain stuck on board, unable to go ashore, seek medical attention or return home.
“If you have finished your contract, then you have the right to be repatriated. If this is not possible then you would remain on board as a passenger. The consequences could be that the ship is unable to sail if the manning level is inadequate, but that is not the responsibility of the seafarers,” said the ITF.
In recent days, the ITF had applauded the efforts of some governments to address the problems and relax the restrictions preventing crew changes and the crew members that may be aboard ships for 6 to 10 months from getting home to family and friends. Just today, Singapore highlighted that it has granted permission for approximately 4,000 crew changes since the end of March and last week Canada, Hong Kong, and New Zealand each said that they would be easing the rules to permit crew transfers.
The ITF, however, pointed out that seafarers, “continue to be treated as second class citizens,” by most jurisdictions and it fears that they might be forced into further contract extensions lasting 2 to 3 more months due to travel restrictions and a lack of flights.
They concluded the statement by saying, “The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) and our member unions have forewarned governments and the industry that after today, the 15 June 2020, that it will no longer be acceptable that seafarers are forced to continue to work.”
In guidance to crew members on their rights, the ITF says the maximum period a seafarer can be expected to serve on board before being entitled to repatriation at the shipowner’s expense is 12 months. It further instructs members that they can refuse any contract extension.
Regarding reparations, the ITF says, crew members have the right to be repatriated at no cost if their employment agreement ends while they are aboard, if the contract is terminated by the shipowner or for reasons including fatigue or exhaustion, or if the crew member is unable to carry out their assigned duties due to illness, injury or shipwreck.
Finally, it says that crew members have the right not to perform work once they have completed their contract, but that they should be available for safety and emergencies, and not refuse to work while at sea. According to the ITF, seafarers should wait until the ship is anchored or docked in port before stopping work, and if that causes a ship to fall below its minimum manning requirements the ship should be reported and not permitted to sail.
Go to Source
A massive fire broke out at the Port of Beirut on Thursday, incinerating a warehouse full of tires and oil within the port’s free zone. The same area was heavily damaged in the ammonium nitrate explosion that leveled the central port area and the adjacent waterfront on August 4. According to Lebanon’s civil defense agency, […]
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has released a Marine Accident Brief about an accident that occurred on April 15, 2019, involving the towing vessel DeJeanne Maria which struck the end of a submerged dredge pipeline while pushing two spud barges to the Gulf of Mexico. The incident occurred on the Mississippi River in Pass […]
DSV Belgium has solid experience in the transport of pharmaceutical products for different customers. With a pharma hub based at Brussels Airport a lot of experience and know-how has been built up over the years. Last weekend, the forwarder handled one hundred million mouth masks, an important milestone for its Belgian organisation that has put […]
Best known as a leading passenger airport serving Germany’s most populated federal state North Rhine-Westphalia, Düsseldorf has become transformed into a vital distribution point, during the COVID 19 pandemic, for medical equipment and other life-saving goods, mostly from China. Gerton Hulsman, managing director of cargo operations, reports that the handling teams are working hard to […]
With close to 100 daily cargo flights operated to a destination network spanning more than 65 cities across six continents, Emirates SkyCargo is delivering essential supplies and commodities to people around the world. The air cargo carrier is currently operating 11 Boeing 777 freighter aircraft, each with a capacity to transport about 100 tonnes of […]
Operators can continue to use pilots and other crew members who have unable to comply with certain training, recent experience, testing, and checking requirements due to the COVID-19 outbreak in support of essential operations. Additionally, this Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR) provides regulatory relief to certain persons and pilot schools unable to meet duration and […]
Astral Aviation has increased its intra-African network with cargo freighters during the pandemic. While there has been a reduction in capacity to, from, and within Africa, which has been caused by a stoppage of passenger flights and limited frequencies on freighter aircraft, Astral Aviation continues to operate cargo freighters from its Nairobi hub to 13 destinations […]
Emirates SkyCargo has expanded its weekly scheduled cargo flight operations to cover 75 destinations across six continents. Through its wider reach, Emirates SkyCargo is able to transport essential commodities and other urgently needed cargo more rapidly across the world, allowing exporters and importers across markets to benefit from direct access to widebody cargo capacity. Some […]
The UK government’s new post-Brexit tariff regime will result in both winners and losers. The new regime is set to replace the European Union’s Common External Tariff from the end of the Brexit Transition Period on December 31, 2020. The UK’s commitment to the ongoing Brexit process and ending the UK’s transition from EU membership […]
Global commercial aviation charter company Albion Aviation Group is reporting that it is seeing a considerable uptake in its professional cargo broker training courses from the current global pandemic crisis and surge in charter demand. “We have completed a number webinar courses for a whole of host of companies, looking to manage their own cargo […]
Callan Marine is serving as the prime contractor to the Texas Department of Transportation for a maintenance dredging project located at the Bolivar Ferry Terminal, in Galveston, Texas. Work began in May and is estimated to be complete in late July 2020. The project consists of the removal of 600,000 cubic yards of material and […]
The U-Freight Group (UFL), with its considerable involvement in eCommerce logistics, says that the latest statistics showing that global e-commerce sales hit $25.6 trillion in 2018 are a further vindication of its decision to enter this sector of the international freight market several years ago. The latest available estimates, up 8% from 2017, were recently […]
NOAA Fisheries announced Friday that it will cancel five out of its six large-scale research surveys in Alaskan waters this year due to COVID-19. The canceled surveys include the Aleutian Islands bottom trawl survey, the eastern Bering Sea bottom trawl survey, the northern Bering Sea bottom trawl survey, the Bering Sea pollock acoustics survey, and […]
Qatar Airways Cargo transported 56 SkyCell containers with vaccines from one of the largest vaccine manufacturers worldwide on its scheduled freighter and belly-hold cargo flights for its customer, CEVA Logistics. The 54-tonne shipment consisting of pneumococcal and varicella vaccines were flown from Brussels to Mumbai via the carrier’s hub in Doha on two separate flights. […]
Network Airline Management and TAAG Angola Airlines are pleased to announce the renewal of their long-term freighter aircraft contract by an additional 12 months, sealing an ongoing partnership for the foreseeable future. Operating a regular weekly scheduled service from Liege, Belgium, to the capital of Angola, Luanda, Network Airline Management provides a Boeing 747-400F aircraft […]
Tigers has launched a new dedicated Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) section on its eShop, powered by its freight portal SmartHub:Connect. The global logistics and transportation company has also released new software updates for SmartHub:Connect, giving customers shortcuts to buy and process documentation for the shipment of PPE. Tigers is also managing the door-to-door transport of […]