ITF representatives confirmed Ever Given’s crew are in good spirits
To date, the Ever Given and her crew remain at Suez Canal’s Great Bitter Lake till investigations conclude and a monetary settlement is reached. ITF’s representatives took the liberty to conduct a health and welfare check of the vessel’s crew.
In good spirits and timely paid
ITF’s checks revealed the crew is in good spirits, timely paid with abundant provisions. “We are pleased to inform that the crew of the Ever Given is in good spirits, and doing well. The crew were pleased to see ITF Egyptian union officials, who greeted them and expressed the solidarity of the global seafaring family,” said Mohamed Arrachedi, ITF Arab World and Iran Network Coordinator.
He added, “The crew are understandably sensitive at moment, as they wait to see what will happen 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.”
The ITF also reported they found no seafarer wages or contract violations. The crew also had sufficient food provisions and are issued devices to connect to the internet. Arrachedi highlighted the ITF is in regular contact with the crew and no welfare issues are raised to date. The ITF will continue to monitor the situation and the crew is aware of readily available assistance. The seafarers on board are represented by National Union of Seafarers of India (NUSI). The ship has 23 crew members as the Suez Canal Authority recently released two for “urgent” personal matters.
NUSI General Secretary Abdulgani Y Serang stressed, “We urge the Egyptian authorities to ensure all of the Ever Given’s crew be allowed to leave at the normal conclusion of their contracts. We cannot have a situation where the crew are being held hostage as financial negotiations between parties stall.”
ITF Seafarers’ Section Chair, David Heindel highlighted the plight of seafarers over the past year amid the COVID-19 pandemic. He said, “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.”
“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-19. Many of those seafarers would rightly be angry if all their sacrifices and profession are unfairly associated with an event clearly beyond their control. It is 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.” Heindel added.