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05 March 2021 The on-line newspaper devoted to the world of transports 17:30 GMT+1



January 28, 2021

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De Micheli: designate seafarers as key workers? But We already did it in March!

Confitarma and other maritime organizations notice this just now

For some time now, several international organizations in the shipping sector, in particular those that deal with maritime work, protest because some of the governments that have explicitly recognized seafarers as workers essential measures, and therefore partially exempted from the restrictive measures mobility measures adopted around the world to contain the Covid-19 pandemic, they actually do little or nothing because changes in the crews of ships are facilitated, allowing seafarers on board to return home and to those who have to replace them to reach the place of embarkation.

So an unequivocal statement that qualifies the seafarers as key workers evidently is not enough to go from intentions (insincere?) to facts. Let alone when this statement is anything but Net.

The latter - ahinoi - is the case in Italy.

Yet today the Italian Shipowners' Confederation (Confitarma) applauded the national government for allegedly solved the problem: "on behalf of the Italian armament- declared the president of the organization, Mario Mattioli - I would like to express my appreciation to Minister De Micheli for the formal recognition by our country of seafarers as essential workers. This recognition not only facilitates the crew turnovers, could also be useful for the inclusion of seafarers among the categories of subjects who have to priority in the covid vaccination program».

Do you want to see that the Minister of Infrastructure and Transport, despite the government's dripping, wanted to finally take a necessary step for a nation that at squarciagola professes to be maritime?

Mattioli drew confirmation "of the government's attention italian for the maritime sector and its workers. based on last Tuesday's circular letter with which the International Maritime Organization has announced that the italian company has delivered to the IMO a communication with the date of the minister Paola De Micheli made the first Secretary-General of the IMO, Kitack Lim, of the measures taken by the government to respond to the Covid-19 crisis.

By congratulating (practice?) the IMO 'for the diligent and timely work in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and especially for the work done in support of sea people, confirmed by circular letters 4204/Add.35 and Add-35-rev-1', De Micheli notified the IMO that 'in the context of the covid-19 pandemic, starting from the temporary limitation of the non-essential trips to Italy, the Government of the Republic of Italian, by decree of 22 March 2020, has designated the transport of maritime service as a necessary and essential service and, consequently, seafarers as essential workers. In the light of the above - concludes De Micheli's communication - confirming that the seafarers are designated as "key workers", at the in order to facilitate the change of crews and repatriations, I ask secretariat to circulate this information to all Member States of the IMO and to add Italy to the list of nations that have designated seafarers as "workers key"».

Altolà. But then it is from March that seafarers are essential workers have been appointed by the Italian Government. And so far Confitarma didn't notice? As well as other organizations in the Italian maritime and logistics sector, it is necessary to Add.

With the decree of 22 March, with the aim of the spread of the pandemic, the Italian government had suspended all industrial and commercial production activities with the exception of some, including maritime and road transport water. In addition, the measure established that activities providing essential services referred to in Law No. 146 of 12 June 1990, the one regulating the right to strike in essential public services and which, among public services, explicitly mentions maritime transport to a limited extent. to connections to the islands.

Now you don't understand, or maybe we don't understand it, if with the measure of last March Minister De Micheli, and with her the whole government, meant that the Italian ships and the italian seafarers could continue to operate or that the could do maritime transport as a whole. In the latter case, the one in which the IMO is concerned, namely that of a maritime transport carried out by ships of different flags and by seafarers of all nationalities, then yes the italian government can be at peace with its conscience.

The question remains as to why Confitarma and other organisations have not so far noticed the timely formal step taken by the executive. It remains to be asked why, when the IMO itself and other international organizations urged governments to take measures to allow the exchange of crews of ships by designating seafarers as workers the Italian government waited last Monday for the let it be known that Italy had already done so. Perhaps he feared to be labeled as the first in the class?

Or, but we can hardly believe it, De Micheli and the government italian people are unaware that maritime transport, just what in much of it is essential for the functioning of the economy and italian society, is mainly made up of ships foreign countries and foreign seafarers.

However, please, may the IMO promptly accept the invitation to include Italy among the countries that treat seafarers as essential workers. In case it will be up to the seafarers, who knows nationality, to experience whether or not they are in Italy in possession of this qualification. Mr Ahiloro.

Bruno Bellio

LineaMessina



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