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From aggression to sarcasm


Frank Coles, former CEO of Transas and Wallem Group / Image Credits: gCaptain

Frank Coles turns to sarcasm after prior lobbying for some action through a strike failed

In June, the former seafarer asked out loud if the industry needs a strike for some reasonable actions to improve crew’s welfare. The campaign did not work. Coles now turns to sarcasm, after emerging from a short ban on LinkedIn.

Banned from LinkedIn!
Coles took substantial spotlight for his vigorous campaigning to improve seafarers’ welfare – appealing to shipping companies, governments and flag states for some concrete actions. However, the inaction should come as no surprise given the sensitivity of the issue. Potential diplomatic implication being clear as mud is not something any multi-national enterprises or governments would risk.

The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) has also been accelerating their efforts to help seafarers address their plights with equally aggressive lobbying. The last beat was ITF’s challenging the courts to help seafarers; facilitating their repatriations when the seafarer abandonment cases came up. ITF’s inspector Jason Lam, had to persuade legal counsels to represent other stranded seafarers. Despite several reports of various maritime unions’ and bodies’ intervention, it was not sufficient to normalise the proposed norm. In Coles’ case, though the plights pointed out were true, the sensitivities were incriminating enough to have LinkedIn ban him!

Highlighting the job hazards
Adopting another approach, Coles turned towards the job nature of seafarers. In his LinkedIn post, he was “inviting unsuspecting” job seekers to explore the perils of a seafarer’s job. “There are over 60,000 ships and 1.5 million seafarers, join them on the journey around the world. You can expect to be paid occasionally, for your contract to be honoured sometimes. You may be lucky to not be harassed, or even raped. Medical support is infrequent and often denied. When the ships arrive in port, there will be no shore leave in case you infect the locals or run away,” he wrote in a candid post. If one does not see his attempt to advocate for improvements in seafarers’ welfare, without mentioning more, it would be easily deemed as another chance to tempt the devil.


Crewing Online News Team
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