Following the crew change issue that has presented due to the coronavirus travel restrictions, International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) estimates that around 300.000 seafarers are stranded onboard ships.
At the same time, an equal number of unemployed seafarers are waiting to join vessels but remain ashore. That makes 600.000 crewmembers affected by this crisis.
300,000 seafarers are trapped working aboard these vessels another 300,000 are facing financial ruin at home, desperate to relieve these ships and start earning wages again. Governments are the biggest barrier to resolving the growing crew change crisis. General Secretary Stephen Cotton said.
ITF added that in the month since July 15 there has been some positive movement, but too little progress has been made by governments to bring in the practical exemptions and protocols needed to support functioning crew changes across the world.
Governments must wake up and realise that without a return to successful crew changes; it is simply not sustainable or acceptable to have a growing number of tired and fatigued seafarers trapped working aboard the world’s ships endangering themselves, their vessels and our maritime environment, Stephen Cotton continued.
In light of the situation, Chair of the ITF Seafarers Section, Dave Heindel reported that ITF and its social partners have been doing everything possible to raise awareness and boost practical changes that would enable crew changes.
We renew our call for governments to take action on visas, quarantining and flights to see a return towards functioning crew changes for this global workforce. We are prepared to explore other options to influence more governments to take this crisis seriously.Dave Heindel concluded.