ITF News Update


Abdul Nasser Saleh is finally home with his family in Egypt, the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) is delighted to announce. Twelve years ago, Abdul Nasser Saleh took a job as an engineer on board the Al Maha vessel. He then spent a shocking 4,000 days stuck on board.


Sailor stuck at sea for years highlights the surge in owners abandoning ships

Abdul Nasser Saleh says he rarely got a good night’s sleep during the near-decade he spent working without pay on a cargo ship abandoned by its owner at ports along the Red Sea. By night, he tossed and turned in his bunk on the aging Al-Maha, he said, thinking of the unpaid wages he feared he’d never get if he left the ship.


Comoros joins international efforts to protect seafarers’ rights

Comoros is the 106th Member State of the ILO to have ratified the MLC, 2006. On 18 of February 2024, the International Labour Office received the instrument of ratification of the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006, as amended (MLC, 2006) by the Union of the Comoros.


ILO, NUSS provide hope for Sri Lankan female seafarers

Agroup of 26 girls living in rural parts of the country and from impoverished homes gathered at the premises of a local maritime trade union with much excitement and hope and they were on the verge of embarking on a new journey and if successful in their individual efforts they could reap rich benefits at the end.


Raising the standard of seafarer port services

Shore leave is an opportunity for seafarers to break the routine of life on board and ease the stress of long deployments through exploration, socialising and recreational activities. Ports play an important role in enabling seafarers to make the most of their limited opportunities to get ashore.


Tomorrow’s seafarer today

How can shipping upskill its workforce at sea when the industry is not 100% sure what future ships will look like? The latest from our shipmanagement magazine. The never-ending evolution of shipping technology requires a workforce in a permanent state of flux, constantly learning and always adapting to requirements from the digitalisation and decarbonisation of the global maritime fleet.


‘Female seafarers’ welfare captured in blue economy policy’

The President of the Women in International Shipping and Trading Association, Nigeria chapter, Odunayo Ani, has said that gender issues have been extensively addressed in the draft copy of the Nigerian Blue Economy policy.


Ships diverted from Red Sea send ripple effects across the globe

Never has it been so cheap to inflict a world of economic pain. That stark point was underscored last week by Maximilian Hess, a principal at London-based Enmetena Advisory, a political risk consultancy. Speaking to a webinar of supply-chain managers, he showed a slide of a canoe-size naval drone and said such jury-rigged weapons have the ability to redirect world trade.



023 was the worst year ever seen for seafarer abandonment – and ITF inspectors recovered nearly US$60 million in unpaid wages. The ITF’s global network of inspectors recovered a shocking US$57,161,779 in unpaid wages for seafarers in 2023, as the ITF also recorded the highest level it has ever seen of abandoned vessels (129) and abandoned seafarers (1,983).



Dockers in Türkiye are facing an increased attack on their right to join the union of their choice by a hostile employer. Dockers at Borusan Port started to unionise in March by joining the dockers’ union Liman-İş. Their employer – Borusan Lojistik AS – responded by sacking six workers, who were later reinstated after the intervention of local politicians.


Sourcing the next generation at sea

How will managers ensure they have enough skilled staff in the years ahead? The latest from our new shipmanagement magazine. It’s a theme that appears on many pages of this magazine – the risk of not having enough suitably skilled workers at sea going forward. So just where are the world’s managers looking to fill the ranks in the years ahead?


Saluting the Seas: A Look Back at the History of National Maritime Day

Every year on May 22nd, we celebrate National Maritime Day to honor how the maritime industry has shaped our global economy and security. From merchant mariners to naval personnel, this day commemorates the contributions of those who brave the seas.


Maritime Charity Gives Support in Face of Alarming Rise in Abandoned Crew

Cases of seafarers abandoned by shipowners without money, support, or the means to get home have reached alarming levels around the world, and global maritime charity Stella Maris is providing support to some of those affected. The rise in the number of distressing cases in the sector has become a humanitarian crisis with many seafarers suffering mental issues as they struggle to find a way to resolve their parlous situation.


Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

On Friday, workers at French ports will hold the first of four 24-hour strikes called throughout June by the General Confederation of Labour (CGT) against the pension reform forced through last year by the Macron government. Ten shorter four-hour stoppages will follow over the month.


Trends and challenges in today’s shipping industry

KPMG presents a shipping market overview, as well as the trends and challenges, in an era where the maritime industry undergoes major changes. According to KPMG, the global shipping industry is expected to continue its ascending course, despite issues with accessibility, manpower, and the current ecopolitical turbulence.