It is now a collective call to address the humanitarian crisis
Mark O’Neil from InterManager famously campaigned for greater collaboration between bodies that govern various facets of the industry to address its challenges. This time, bodies are banding together for a more persuasive attempt.
A unified campaign
A cohort comprising the world’s top trade organisations representing workers across various transport sectors is canvassing for global governments to end the “global humanitarian and supply chain crisis”. The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), International Road Transport Union (IRU), International Air Transport Association (IATA), and the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) initiated the unified campaign through an open letter.
Their message urged the world’s leaders to restore transport workers’ freedom of movement. These workers represent US$20 trillion of world trade annually; 65 million global transport workers, 3.5 million road freight and airline companies, and more than 80 per cent of the world merchant shipping fleet. The note stressed that they have continued to sustain global trade throughout the pandemic. At the peak of the crew change crisis, some 400,000 seafarers alone were stranded onboard their ships, and working for as long as 18 months beyond their initial contracts.
Unquestioned resilience in adversity
“Since the outset of the pandemic, transportation industries have called on governments to ensure workers’ free movement, and end travel bans with other restrictions that adversely impacted their well-being and safety. They kept the world running and are vital for the free movement of products including vaccines and personal protective equipment (PPE). However, they have been continually disappointed by governments and taken for granted,” the note asserted.
Guy Platten, Secretary-General of ICS commended the workers’ resilience. “Transport workers demonstrated ineffable levels of resilience in the face of immense hardship. We call on the United Nations and heads of state to take the decisive and coordinated action to resolve this crisis,” he appealed.
Stephen Cotton from the ITF seconded, “These workers sustained the world’s supply chains despite being neglected by world leaders. They dealt with border closures, inability to return home, scarce access to healthcare, restrictive quarantine requirements, and the uncertainty borne from governments’ ineptitude. The time has come for the heads of government to respond to these workers’ needs. Otherwise, they will be responsible for the collapse of supply chains.”
Crewing Online News Team
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