- Representatives of the International Transport Workers’ Federation (seafarers as key workers ) Sunday boarded the MV Ever Given (IMO: 9811000) to check on the health and welfare of the crew.
- The cargo vessel is currently anchored in Lake Bitter, in the Suez Canal system, as Egyptian authorities and the vessel’s insurer argue over damages claims.
- ITF Arab World and Iran Network Coordinator Mohamed Arrachedi worked closely to have the two ITF contacts in Egypt to board the vessel and perform welfare checks on the crew under his direction.
A recent news article in ITF reveals that according to ITF Ever Given crew is safe whereas Egpyt cannot hold Suez seafarers hostage.
Crew sensitive at the moment
“The crew are understandably sensitive at moment, as they wait to see the what will happen with arguments between authorities and other parties. They are eager to sail, or know that they will be able to go home and see their families if the ship cannot leave Egypt soon. They are relieved to know the ITF is on their side.”
No seafarer wages or contract violations
Mr Arrachedi said that no seafarer wages or contract violations were found by the ITF representatives, and all crew had received their wages for March.
He said the crew had sufficient food provisions. The ITF delivered devices for the crew to connect to the internet.
“We have been in contact with the crew and there were no welfare issues raised for the time being. We continue to monitor the situation and the crew know we are available to support where needed, ” said Arrachedi.
Crew must be given fair go
ITF Seafarers’ Section Chair David Heindel said the past year had been tough for seafarers and continues into this year.
“First the pandemic and then the crew change crisis turned seafarers’ lives upside-down, especially when governments brought in blanket travel and border restrictions. Some seafarers have been trapped working on the same ships for more than a year beyond their initial contracts,” said Heindel.
“We should remember that it was seafarers who kept the world running through the worst of the health and economic crises we faced from Covid. Many of those seafarers would rightly feel pretty angry if, after all their sacrifice, their profession is unfairly associated with an event clearly beyond their control.”
Seafarers are the key workers
It’s time to treat seafarers as key workers with the respect they deserve.
And we can start by getting each and every crew member from the Ever Given home to their families at the conclusion of their respective contracts.
Sadly, getting home on time is a contractual right and human right that another 200,000 seafarers are still being regularly denied because of governments’ lack of understanding of maritime industries, and the need to have fresh crews onboard.
We can’t inflict that punishment on a further 25 seafarers.
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Source: ITF Global