ITF News Update – 1st to 7th April

Unions demand change to end fire and rehire | ITF Seafarers – 1st April

Last night, ITF, ETF, Nautilus International and RMT projected a video on to the cliffs of Dover and images on to the headquarters of P&O Ferries, demanding that the company be brought to task for its immoral and illegal actions.


Panama Canal Proposes New Toll System, Raising Transit Costs | G Captain – 1st April

The Panama Canal Authority proposed a comprehensive restructuring of its toll system on Friday, which would increase rates charged on cargo such as vehicles, oil and gas and soybeans that cross the waterway as ocean shippers rake in record profits.


Government dropping employment bill would ‘betray’ workers, says TUC | Guardian – 1st April

Unions have been pressing for promised bill to be brought forward after sacking of hundreds of P&O staff


P&O Ferries: Criminal and civil investigations opened into ferry firm after it sacked 786 employees | Sky News – 1st April

In a letter to Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng, the Insolvency Service confirmed it was investigating the circumstances surrounding the sacking of nearly 800 workers in March.


Drifting mines threaten seafarers’ safe passage in Black Sea | ITF Seafarers – 4th April

International maritime employers and unions are urging governments to significantly increase efforts to ensure safe and secure passage for vessels following reports of mines drifting in the Black Sea.


Crews To Remove Nearly 5,000 Containers On Ever Forward In Refloat Plan B | CBS Baltimore – 4th April

After weeks of dredging and days of tugging, the Ever Forward still hasn’t budged. It’s the massive container ship that has been stuck in the Chesapeake Bay for more than three weeks.


Situation “dire” for seafarers trapped by war in Ukraine | Bright Green – 4th April

Seafarers trapped in the waters of Ukraine and Russia are in a “dire” situation. Vessels, trapped by war, are running out of food and other supplies in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.


Unions say more U.S.-flagged ships needed amid supply chain issues | Politico – 4th April

The AFL-CIO’s Transportation Trades Department is urging the Biden administration to expand the U.S.-flagged domestic fleet and vessels covered by Jones Act protections with an eye toward alleviating ongoing supply chain issues.


4 Pinoy seafarers arrested in Australia for allegedly importing cocaine: DFA | ABS CBN News – 4th April

MANILA — Four Filipino seafarers were apprehended in Australia for allegedly importing cocaine, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Monday.


Singapore Maritime Foundation becomes first partner of Maritime Just Transition Task Force | ITF Seafarers – 5th April

Shipping industry’s Just Transition Task Force announces Singapore Maritime Foundation as first programme partner. Task Force convened to ensure fair and equitable green transition for workers, communities and all nations as shipping decarbonises. MSC, ONE, and Anglo Eastern among other private sector partners announced at Singapore Maritime Week


Russian ships are ditching their flags and registering in the Marshall Islands and St. Kitts, a tactic that could be used to evade sanctions | Yahoo – 5th April

18 vessels ditched their Russian flags in March — more than three times the normal rate. They’re re-flagging under nations like the Marshall Islands, according to Windward AI. The tactic — while legal — could allow businesses to hide their connections with Russia.


Groggy Captain Led to Tow Striking a Lock Gate, NTSB Determines| G Captain – 5th April

“Studies have shown that the effects of sleep inertia include reduced alertness, slower reaction time, less accuracy, degraded memory, and impaired decision-making ability,” the report said. “Sleep inertia generally lasts for about 30 minutes after waking but may last longer if a person is sleep deprived. Mariners should allow time to fully recover from sleep inertia before taking a watch and performing critical duties.”


Merchant Ship Sank By Missiles in Mariupol, Flag State Confirms | G Captain – 5th April

LONDON, April 5 (Reuters) – A Dominica-flagged cargo ship sank on Tuesday in the besieged southern Ukrainian port city of Mariupol after being targeted by Russian missile strikes, the vessel’s flag registry said.


Coast guard called after ship stranded off southwest coast | Taipei Times – 6th April

A cruise ship lost power 2.5 nautical miles (4.6km) southwest of the Port of Kaohsiung on Monday afternoon.


Tug Life | American Prospect – 6 th April

Jason Woods, a longtime tugboat worker and the president of International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Local 400, quotes a former colleague who described his job as “hours of boredom, punctuated by moments of terror.” There’s plenty of standby time waiting on the boat, or sometimes long hours of towing that can be dull. But workers are always just a heartbeat away from danger.


Government announces new measures to protect seafarers | Lexology – 6th April

Following P&O Ferries’ decision to dismiss 800 workers last month, the government has announced a package of new measures designed to protect seafarers and other employees facing large scale redundancies, including so-called “fire and re-hire” tactics to change employment terms. It also aims to strengthen the right to UK national minimum wage (NMW) for seafarers on ferries operating in and out of the UK.


EU bans Russian vessels from ports, ‘edges closer’ to banning Russian oil imports | Offshore Energy – 6th April

The European Union members have announced a new, fifth round of sanctions against Russia and its businesses due to the war in Ukraine, including a ban on Russian vessels from accessing EU ports. However, the EU is still weighing additional sanctions related to the banning of Russian oil imports.


Ukraine: More than one hundred seafarers’ family members helped to escape conflict  | ITF Seafarers – 7th April

More than 100 people seeking refuge from the conflict in Ukraine have been supported to reach safety as part of a joint humanitarian initiative set up by the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), the ITF Seafarers’ Trust, the Marine Transport Workers’ Trade Union of Ukraine (MTWTU) and global ship manager V.Group.


U.S. Containership Logjam Shifts to East Coast Ports | G Captain – 7th April

Ocean carriers looking to avoid logjams at the U.S.’s busiest container gateways on the West Coast are now facing even longer queues out east.


Government plans to introduce minimum wage for seafarers will be worthless without enforcement, TUC warns | Morning Star – 7th April

GOVERNMENT pledges to introduce the minimum wage for seafarers following the P&O sacking scandal will prove worthless without enforcement, the TUC warned yesterday.


P&O Ferries owner DP World loses status as partner in Solent freeport | Guardian – 7th April

Exclusive: ministers confirm Emirati logistics giant no longer has central role after anger at sacking of 800 workers


Maersk’s unpopular shore leave directives likely to end up in court | Splash 247 – 7th April

The Danish Maritime Authority wrote to the nation’s largest shipping line late last month, warning Maersk it had violated local regulations as well as the Maritime Labour Convention by banning all shore leave for crew on Danish-flagged ships in the wake of the detection of the first cases of the omicron variant of Covid-19. Maersk got away with just a warning and no fine. However, the Danish arm of the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) intends to take the matter to a local labour court, seeking compensation.