ITF calls on Maersk to protect their workers during the COVID-19 crisis

ITF calls on Maersk to protect their workers during the COVID-19 crisis
Photo: ITF

On the day of the AP Moller Maersk annual general meeting, the ITF has made a statement to the company AGM following up its calls for action in the wider transport industries during the Covid-19 pandemic.

At this time of grave danger for the maritime industry, and to the wellbeing of transport workers, the ITF has called on Maersk to show responsibility for all its workers in its extended supply chain at sea and ashore.

The ITF and its affiliates represents seafarers, dockers, tug boat workers and inland transport workers within Maersk. They have called on the company to ensure they have in place Personal Protective Equipment to guard against the transmission risks of Covid-19. Also, for full pay to be provided in the unfortunate instances that the virus is caught by any worker, or should that worker have to go into self-isolation as a precaution. 

Ships must be able to sail in order to ensure the export and import of vital goods and medicines, and for this to happen crew changes must be carried out while infection control measures are observed. Currently, the ITF is dealing every day with situations where seafarers cannot move freely to safely sign on and off ships. This is due to the increasing number of restrictions being placed by national governments on movements in and out of their country. Therefore, governments need to recognise the vital role of seafarers in this extraordinary crisis, and for them to be treated as ‘key workers’, regardless of nationality.

The ITF, and maritime affiliates representing seafarers and dockers, are also asking flag states to take proper responsibility for the health and wellbeing of all workers and passengers onboard their vessels when there are cases of Covid-19, and this includes flags of convenience.

In its statement to the Maersk AGM the ITF also reiterated its concern in respect of Maersk Line business operations with the Melbourne port of convenience. These issues have been identified, and the ITF has advised the company that it expects a constructive and committed ongoing dialogue to resolve them.