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31 October 2020 The on-line newspaper devoted to the world of transports 21:15 GMT+1

October 5, 2020

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Original news
ITF and JNG call on shipping operators to agree so that ships can land at ports where it is possible to make the change of crew

Cotton: We will clash hard with anyone who thinks of by targeting seafarers who use their Rights

The International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) and the Joint Negotiating Group (JNG), which represents the employer's share in the it has made a strong focus on maritime work, and they have made it a Joint statement on the problem of crew change replacement of maritime personnel that is made extremely difficult from travel restrictions imposed by governments to contain the Covid-19 pandemic.

In the statement, signed by the SECRETARY-General of the ITF, Stephen Cotton, and the president of International Maritime Employers' Council (IMEC), Belal Ahmed, ITF and JNG recall that shipping sector is responsible for 90% of trade global trade and, historically, is crucial to the development of national economies and for prosperity Global. "We continue to be - they also remember - the lifeblood of the global economy and the key to the future jobs of billions of people, while the world is responding to the Covid-19."

"However," the ITF and JNG point out, "as an industry, we can help the world overcome this pandemic and continue to transport vital goods to the world only if the conditions of work on ships comply with maritime regulations International. This is because these regulations health, safety, protection and well-being of the heart of our industry: seafarers all over the world. The maritime authorities need an industry that values them, their contribution and their human rights. Seafarers need free, fair and safe workplaces."

"Employers in the maritime sector who are members of the Joint Negotiating Group - the statement continues - worked tirelessly to facilitate crew changes facing significant financial burdens. Nevertheless, more than 400,000 seafarers continue to be stuck at work on ships, are forced to extend their shifts due to restrictions on border transit and travel imposed by many governments around the world, as well as because of the low availability of international flights caused by the pandemic.'

"We come to join - explain ITF and JNG - to urge shipowners, renters, management companies, agencies and companies of manning and hiring and all the other stakeholders to commit not to put pressure on seafarers or to force them in any way to prolong their Contracts. Nor should they deny seafarers the opportunity to exercise their human right to stop working, to leave the ships and go home."

In particular, with their joint statement, ITF and JNG invite shipowners, ship operators and other stakeholders maritime transport operations to make sure that ships, even by changing course, they can land in the ports where it is possible to make the change of crew and that this can happen without sanctions and charges additional changes due to the change of course.

"The seafarers," stressed the Secretary-General it's Stephen Cotton -- they're really terrified that they can lose their jobs if they speak or intend to enforce their Rights. The fear of being banned prevents them from respect their own human and working rights. Given the mental and physical fatigue caused by the long stay on board, it is more important than ever that, during this crisis of changing crews, seafarers can talk. We -- he warned Cotton -- we'll clash hard with anyone in the industry you think you're going to get away with targeting seafarers who use their rights to reject contract extensions. ours sector is better than that."

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