ITF News Update – 22nd February to 4th March

Kenya ratifies key international labour standards for fishers and seafarers | ICSF

The Government of Kenya has ratified two international labour standards that will promote decent work for the country’s seafarers and fishers. It has also submitted notification of acceptance of amendments to a third, already ratified, maritime labour Convention.


ICTSI Pakistan handles its first-ever ro-ro vessel | Port Technology – 22nd Feb

Pakistan International Container Terminal (PICT) has successfully handled Messina Line’s JOLLY QUARZO, the first ro-ro vessel to call at the terminal.


Operations at Ukraine’s sea ports closed by its military | Reuters – 24th Feb

KYIV, Feb 24 (Reuters) – Operations at Ukraine’s sea ports have been suspended by the country’s military, Mykhailo Podolyak, adviser to the president’s chief of staff, said on Thursday.


Ukraine transport workers under threat, say unions | Freight Business Journal – 25th Feb

The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) and the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) warn that transport workers are particularly under threat in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.


Shipping Group Warns of More Supply Chain Disruption if Free Movement of Ukrainian and Russian Seafarers is Impeded | G Captain – 25th Feb

The International Chamber of Shipping is calling on shipping stakeholders and governments to help prevent Russian and Ukrainian seafarers from becoming ‘collatoral damage’ in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.


Seafarers Step Up to Support Ukraine | Maritime Executive – 27th Feb

Four days into a full-scale invasion by one of the largest armies in the world, the Ukrainian armed forces have managed to hold all major cities and the Russian offensive has lost momentum, according to UK intelligence. Russia’s tanks, armored personnel carriers and truck convoys have proven vulnerable to attack by NATO-supplied anti-tank missiles, and some frontline Russian units have reportedly encountered shortages of fuel and supplies.


Joint statement urging continued collaboration to address the crew change crisis, safeguard seafarer health and safety, and avoid supply chain disruptions during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic | ILO – 28th Feb

The continuously rapid spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, including the Omicron variant, is a stark reminder that the COVID-19 pandemic  is not over. The epidemiological situation continues to evolve, posing renewed challenges to societies and economies, including to international shipping, which is critical for global trade and sustainable development.–en/index.htm


Suez Canal To Increase Tolls Effective March 1 | G Captain – 28th Feb

While inflationary pressures have gripped the global economy, Egypt’s Suez Canal Authority said today it will be increasing canal tolls by up to 10% for laden and ballast vessels, effective March 1.


Ukraine’s Ports to Stay Closed Until Russian Invasion Ends – Maritime Administration | US News – 28th Feb

LONDON (Reuters) – Ukrainian ports will remain closed until Russia’s invasion ends, the head of Ukraine’s Maritime Administration said on Monday, adding that the port of Mariupol has sustained damage from Russian shelling.


Seafarers under increased threat as two bulk carriers are detained by Russian forces | Splash 247 – 28th Feb

Concern is growing for the wellbeing of thousands of seafarers, both at sea and ashore, as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine takes its toll on merchant shipping.


UK orders its ports to block all Russian-linked ships | Reuters – 28th Feb

Britain on Monday ordered its ports to block any vessels that are Russian-flagged or believed to be registered, owned or controlled by any person connected with Russia as it ratcheted up the pressure on Moscow.


Container lines suspend shipments to Russia, Maersk considering | Reuters – 28th Feb

Container shipping company Ocean Network Express (ONE) on Monday suspended bookings to and from Russia while Maersk said it was considering doing the same in response to Western sanctions on Moscow following its invasion of Ukraine.


Port Unions Take Action On Russian Flagged Ships | Scoop NZ – 1st March

The two unions representing workers in New Zealand ports say their members are reluctant to work Russian flagged ships in New Zealand ports and are looking at methods of protest following the outbreak of war.


Most major shipping lines suspend shipments to and from Russia | Maritime Magazine – 1st March

Maersk, its 2M Alliance partner Mediterranean Shipping Co., and CMA CGM have joined Hapag-Lloyd and Ocean Network Express (ONE) in suspending bookings for Russian cargo in response to tightening global sanctions following the invasion of Ukraine, the news platform reported today.


Massive cargo ship carrying luxury cars sinks in mid-Atlantic | Los Angeles Times – 1st March

A large cargo vessel carrying cars from Germany to the United States sank Tuesday in the mid-Atlantic, 13 days after a fire broke out on board, the ship’s manager and the Portuguese navy said.


Crew on Russian-owned superyachts urged to join trade union | SuperYacht News – 1st March

Nautilus International, an international trade union and professional association representing seafarers and allied workers, is encouraging crew members to sign up as members. The organisation can help and assist with pay and condition disputes, offer free legal service to its members, and provide workplace support to seafarers. However, this support can only be offered once the individual is a registered member. Protection and legal services can not be guaranteed to those who have signed up after an incident has occurred.


Dubai police must allow ship’s captain home if they are to meet human rights obligations | ITF Seafarers – 2nd March

The Dubai police have still not allowed the captain of MV Ocean Trader (IMO 9056739) to return home after seven months, despite the UAE’s improved position on human rights.


Crews asked to extend contracts as Ukraine crisis takes its toll at sea | Splash 247 – 2nd March

The crew change crisis is set to worsen with the first week of the Russian invasion of Ukraine showing little sign of a swift end to the conflict.


Shipping delays may spoil food, medical shipments to Russia, Maersk says | Reuters – 2nd March

COPENHAGEN, March 2 (Reuters) – Shipments of foodstuffs and medical supplies to Russia risk being damaged or spoiled due to significant delays at ports and customs, shipping group Maersk (MAERSKb.CO) told its customers on Wednesday.


UN Report Highlights Countries Denying Seafarers Urgent Medical Care | Marine Insight – 2nd March

The International Chamber of Shipping has called on governments around the world to ensure access to medical care for seafarers, after it emerged that crews continue to be refused urgent treatment at ports during the pandemic.


Bangladeshi Ship Hit By Missile at Ukrainian Port -Reports | G Captain – 2nd March

A Bangladeshi ship anchored at the northern Black Sea port of Olvia in Ukraine has reportedly been hit by a missile, killing one crew member.


Russian shipping now prohibited from using UK ports as EU looks to follow suit | Export – 2nd March

The UK government has quickly brought in legislation banning any ships connected to Russia – not just those flying the Russian flag – from UK ports and has brought in new powers to detain Russian vessels.


Seafarer goes home after months abandoned alone on a ship at Tawfiq port in Egypt | ITF Seafarers – 3rd March

A seafarer was trapped alone on his ship without food or electricity for months, and no-one would help until the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) intervened. He has finally made it home.


Qatar signs new agreement with ITF on transport worker rights | ITF Global – 3rd March

The Ministry of Labour of Qatar today signed a new memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the ITF and, with worker-management committees, it takes another leap forward in rights for transport workers.


ITF Dockers unite against Putin’s Ukraine invasion | ITF Global – 3rd March

Following last week’s call from transport unions for an immediate ceasefire to the conflict in Ukraine, the global labour movement and international community has stood steadfast in their condemnation of the war and call for peace.


Seafaring jobs seen at risk if PHL drops ball on training standards | Business World – 3rd March

THE Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) must properly implement international training standards in compliance with European Union (EU) requirements in order to preserve about 30,000 seafarers’ jobs, a Senator said.


21 Pinoy seafarers evacuated from Ukraine reach Moldova | Phil Star – 3rd March

MANILA, Philippines — The 21 Filipino seafarers of  bulk carrier MV S-Breeze who were evacuated from Chornomosk, Ukraine, arrived in Moldova, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) confirmed yesterday.


March crew change figures suggest more seafarers working beyond contracts | Daily Cargo News – 4th March

THE number of seafarers onboard vessels beyond the expiry of their contracts has risen since last month, according to the latest Neptune Declaration Crew Change Indicator.