Pay close attention to ITF and issue

On June 15, the International Federation of transport workers (ITF) announced again that ITF and its affiliated Seamen's unions would begin to assist thousands of seafarers on board to exercise their right to stop work and leave the ship for home leave. "We have had enough, we have to draw a line, and we want to make it clear to governments that, from June 16, seafarers will begin to exercise their right to stop work, leave the ship and go home without renewal," said crumlin, ITF chairman. This statement of ITF immediately aroused widespread concern from all walks of life. Once the crew stops working, it will undoubtedly bring irreparable losses to the whole shipping industry and the world economy.

What organization is ITF

The organization originated from various special conferences and federations of European seafarers and railway workers in the early 1890s. At the beginning of its establishment, it pursued the motto of "unity is strength", and has long been committed to changing the working environment of unfair treatment such as long-term work, low wages and abuse. Today, ITF is a Democratic Federation led by its subsidiary bodies. It unites nearly 700 affiliated trade unions in 150 countries around the world and helps its members ensure rights, equality and justice, representing nearly 20 million professional men and women around the world. Headquartered in London, it has offices in Amman, Brussels, Nairobi, New Delhi, Ouagadougou, Rio de Janeiro, Singapore, Sydney and Tokyo. The size and status of ITF mean that ITF can conduct substantive negotiations and dialogues with international institutions and governments, coordinate actions against transnational corporations and governments, and maintain the promotion of global working environment. ITF pays attention to seamen shift crisis

During the global outbreak of new coronavirus pneumonia, ITF and its affiliated organizations have begun to pay attention to the seamen shift crisis, and clearly reminded the governments and officials of various countries that they should not ignore the escalating crew shift crisis and the possible consequences.

Agree to the extension of seafarer's contract (March 19, 2020)

At the beginning of the outbreak of the new coronavirus, global shipping was the first to be affected. Due to restrictions on entry and travel of personnel in various countries, seafarers could not change shifts in time. ITF learned that many flag state governments extended the on-board service agreements for seafarers in accordance with the requirements of MLC convention. In order to cope with the global epidemic crisis, ITF agreed to extend the on-board service agreement for seafarers, and promised that it would not challenge seafarers to extend the on-board service agreement before April 16, 2020, even if the contract period of seafarers has reached the maximum period stipulated in the Convention.

Letter to G20 Summit (April 7, 2020)

ITF affirms the measures taken by governments to deal with public health emergencies, and reminds them that, while recovering their economies, they should not forget that ships, as the carrier of Global trade, provide medical supplies, food, energy and raw materials, industrial products and components for all parts of the world under the global supply chain, which is an important guarantee to realize the effective function of national economy. During the G20 summit, ITF recommended IMO's recommendations to G20 leaders and ministers on the replacement of seafarers at various ports, and called on G20 leaders and ministers to make every effort to ensure that seafarers' shift policy recommendations are implemented in various countries and provide necessary medical assistance support to seafarers on board.

Identifying key workers to urge seafarers to change shifts (April 9, 2020)

ITF calls on governments to implement policies and procedures immediately to ensure that seafarers are not only defined as "key workers", but also free to change shifts without normal travel restrictions. If a solution is not found as soon as possible, governments will be held responsib

12 step solution (May 6, 2020)

Under the background of the epidemic situation, the shift of seafarers around the world should not be a difficult problem, but the solution to the problem has become very complicated in various countries. Therefore, IMO has proposed a 55 page 12 step solution to 174 Member States, which provides a guide on how to exempt crew members from boarding and disembarking successfully in the case of closure of cities. Due to the "out of sight, out of mind" mentality, governments of various countries have neglected the choice of seafarers, which leads to huge psychological burden on Seafarers in the front line. ITF strongly urges all governments to take immediate action to avoid more serious consequences.

Joint statement (May 14, 2020)

ITF issued a joint statement with JNG (the joint negotiating group) on behalf of its 215 seafarers' unions and 1 million seafarers. It once again reminded governments that the health status and fatigue of seafarers on board should not be ignored. This will not only affect the health of seafarers themselves, but also the safety of ships and marine environment. At the same time, there are also some seafarers who are waiting at home and their right to work freely is also restricted. Therefore, ITF and JNG do not agree to renew the seafarers' on-board agreement again, which will give governments a transitional period to implement the Seamen's shift change guidelines issued by IMO in the early stage. This transition period will not exceed 30 days, and June 15 will be the deadline. At the same time, ITF also suggests that companies, depending on their financial situation, continue to pay wages to seafarers who have completed the contract period but are unable to disembark, and pay wages in advance to those who are ready to be dispatched. If seafarers can be arranged for leave, they should start with the seafarers who have been on board for the longest time instead of giving priority to their positions.

Letter to Guterres (May 22, 2020)

ITF, together with the international shipping Union (ICS) and the International Federation of trade unions (ituc), sent a letter to Antonio Guterres, the Secretary General of the United Nations, urging the 193 member states of the United Nations to pay urgent attention to 200000 seamen stranded on board, sailing around the world and on the verge of collapse. Their fatigue and depression have become normal, and they have even committed suicide and self mutilation. Governments of all countries should abide by the UN guiding principles on business and human rights, avoid human rights crisis, learn from countries that have opened the door to seafarers' shift change, earnestly implement the "12 step guidance program" of IMO, and solve the problem of seafarers' shift change as soon as possible.

Joint appeal for crew shift change (May 28, 2020)

The International Maritime Organization (IMO), International Labor Organization (ILO) and International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) signed a joint statement calling on governments of all countries to attach great importance to the key role played by seafarers during the outbreak of the epidemic, and to remove all barriers restricting the freedom of seafarers to change shifts and enable seafarers to receive emergency medical assistance. Meanwhile, ITF once again reminded the deadline for seafarers' shift change on June 15, and formally issued a warning to lift the restrictions on Seafarers' shift change as soon as possible, so as not to cause the global economy to stop.

A letter from ITF to seafarers
Seafarers, my friends,
We know that your loved ones, family and friends have had enough!
At present, many countries have gradually opened up cities that were closed for two or three months due to the impact of the new coronavirus pneumonia epidemic. Shopping malls and services have gradually opened up, and people are allowed to meet and meet. However, only you are still trapped in the ship, not allowed to land on the port, sick without medical treatment, and unable to go home after the contract expires. But you have the right to go home!!!

Many of you have been on board for 6-10 months. Due to travel restrictions and flight controls in various countries, you have to extend the on board service agreement for another 2-3 months. Despite the strong support of the shipping industry and the United Nations and its subsidiary agencies, you are still considered "second-class citizens". And you are known as "key workers" by governments. You are the seafarers who guarantee the global supply chain and the delivery of key materials.

We have warned governments and the industry as a whole that starting today, June 15, 2020, we will no longer allow seafarers to be forced to continue working. If you complete the on board agreement, then you have the right to be repatriated. If you can't be repatriated in time, you will stay on board as passengers. If the Manning is insufficient, the ship will not be able to sail, but it is not your responsibility.

We know very well - if any of you want to get off the ship, we and all our affiliated trade unions and inspection agencies will do everything we can to help you.

You've done your job, you've fulfilled your duties, and you've accepted the fact that you couldn't go home on vacation to stop the spread of new coronavirus pneumonia, but that's enough. Enough is enough!

Impact of ITF appeal on shipping

Although ITF is only an unofficial organization representing the global labor force, it can have a huge impact on shipping due to its worldwide affiliated trade unions and a large network of trade union unions. This is why, after ITF issued a warning to the industry and called on seafarers to stop working, the UN Secretary General Guterres and many other countries have issued a statement expressing their concern about seafarers' suffering on board ships The impact of the new crown epidemic on the deep concern that we can't get off the ship and go home. The affiliated trade unions of ITF include not only shipping and Seamen's trade unions, but also aviation, railway, port, pilotage and other institutions. It can be imagined that if seafarers' disembarkation, shift change and medical treatment can not be properly solved, governments of various countries continue to ignore the significance of seafarers as "key workers", and ITF can completely surpass the governments, flag States, port States and so on Shipping companies directly let seafarers, dock workers, truck drivers, pilots, cable workers and other front-line workers related to ship operation stop their work in order to claim equal treatment for seafarers trapped on the ship.

Support seafarers to change shifts

Seafarers, as a special group, provide a stable guarantee for the sustainable development of the global economy. According to IMO data, about 90% of the world's international trade depends on shipping. U.N. Secretary General Guterres also mentioned the contribution of seafarers to the world in his recent concerns about seafarers' shift change. "During the new epidemic, seafarers took on the important task of transporting medical supplies, food and basic production and living materials.". Regarding seafarers as "key workers" is not just a slogan. Governments of all countries should take active actions to strengthen cooperation among themselves and with various organizations, to formulate seafarer shift system and to guarantee the right of seafarers to go to the ground for medical treatment. In many countries, under the condition of fully controlling public health and strengthening the prevention of the new epidemic situation, allowing overseas students to return home, allowing foreigners to enter the country, and allowing business travel, we should not only send soul torture to the governments of various countries. The environment for seafarers on board is relatively simple and closed, and the prevention and control of new epidemic situation on board ships is relatively simple and easy. But why do you restrict your own country What about the entry and exit of seafarers who have been transporting materials to fight the epidemic and support the economic operation? While countries around the world control the epidemic and restart the economy, please do not ignore the vital role of seafarers in the global economy. Do not wait until shipping stops and the economy is paralyzed.

key word: seaman

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