ITF News Update 22 – 26 February 2021

ITF family secures tanker crew release in Iran | ITF Seafarers – 22nd Feb

More than a dozen seafarers from South Korea, Myanmar, Vietnam and Indonesia are now making their way home after the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) and its Iranian affiliate helped broker their release from Iranian authorities.


Hours of work abuse and exhaustion at sea: the risks and the solutions | Hellenic Shipping News – 22nd Feb

The risks of exhaustion at sea and the widespread abuse of Hours of Work and Rest will be discussed by a high-profile panel of experts from World Maritime University, the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency, Nautilus International and the ITF Seafarers Trust at a webinar jointly hosted by Nautilus International and trade journal Lloyd’s List.


Government of Finland proposed extension to validity of ships’ crew qualification certificates | Port News – 22nd Feb

The Government of Finland is proposing that the validity of fixed-term ships’ crew certificates of competency and certificates of proficiency be extended due to the effects of the COVID-19 epidemic, says press center of the country’s Ministry of Transport and Communications. A derogation permitting a special dispensation from certificates of proficiency required on a vessel would also be extended. The derogations would be temporary.


US Concerned China’s New Coast Guard Law Could Escalate Maritime Disputes | VOA – 22nd Feb

The United States is concerned that China’s recently enacted coast guard law could escalate maritime disputes and be invoked to assert unlawful claims, the U.S. State Department said Friday.


Suicides at sea go uncounted as crew change crisis drags on | Lloyd’s List – 23rd Feb

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority wants the Maritime Labour Convention amended to make reporting of suicides mandatory. Ports and shipping companies could do more to help their seafarers through the crew-change crisis — and prepare them better for the next unforeseen such levels of disruption. Maritime charities fear the toll of the lockdown measures on seafarers’ mental health and there are anecdotal reports suicides have risen in 2020. But with no central database to count them, shipping is left in the dark


Indian cruise ship providing quarantine floatel for Sri Lanka crew change | Seatrade Maritime News – 23rd feb

Completely inactive all through 2020 due to the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic, India’s first cruise ship Angriya is being currently used at the southern Sri Lankan port of Galle as a floating hotel to quarantine seafarers who are either leaving or joining duty.


Maritime experts to examine seafarer exhaustion | Lloyd’s List – 24th Feb

The World Maritime University research report into seafarer work/rest hours recording malpractices is to be tackled by industry experts in a webinar on March 5

Following on from ‘A Culture of Adjustment’, this webinar brings together maritime safety heavyweights who all believe it is time to stop kicking the safety can down the road


After 3 years abandoned at sea without pay, this oil tanker crew is on cusp of going home | CBC – 24th Feb

When a shipping company from the United Arab Emirates hit financial trouble in 2017 and abandoned an oil tanker off the coast of Dubai, it left a small crew still aboard, stranded at sea without pay or a way home.


Fiji government must step in over ferries scam, rights violations ITF Seafarers – 25th Feb

Seafarers have been made homeless and left stranded thousands of kilometres from their loved ones after a major Fijian ferry company scammed and underpaid them, and then fired the workers when they spoke to the union.


RMT demand Government action to stop shipowner exploitation of seafarers | Market Screener – 25th Feb

SEAFARERS UNION RMT today responded to the latest Government statistics on the number of UK seafarers working in the shipping industry in 2020.–32525966/


Empathy at work: Ex-seafarer pays forward | Manila Times – 25th Feb

This rings true for Arvin Peralta, an inspector for the global welfare group, International Transport Workers Federation (ITF). As a former seafarer, Peralta knew the hardships and the occasional injustices done to sea-going transport workers. These issues were the same concerns brought to him mostly by Filipino seafarers.


Freight and Passenger Ferry Company Accused of Serious Human Rights Abuses | Handy Shipping Guide – 26th Feb

Goundar Shipping, which runs a fleet of passenger and cargo ferries from its headquarters in Suva, stands accused by the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) of serious offences regarding the recruiting and employment of staff.

The union alleges that, having tricked more than 20 Filipino seafarers into flying to Fiji to operate and maintain its vessels, it reneged on the agreements upon their arrival and offered new terms at 60-70% less wages.


Danica Welcomes Russian Seafarer Vaccination | Maritime Executive – 26th Feb

Russia, a major hub for seafarers, has now recognised seafarers as keyworkers and begun giving them Covid-19 vaccinations as a priority group – a move welcomed by Danica Crewing Services, a leading supplier Russian seafarers.