Gard Club issued an alert concerning malaria which remains one of the world’s leading killers and seafarers must not lower their guard when visiting an area where there is a risk of exposure to this mosquito-borne disease. The progress in fighting malaria has levelled off.
Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport of Canada, announced that the country is providing funding over three years to the British Columbia Institute of Technology to deliver a program to increase access to marine training courses for women, Northerners, Inuit and Indigenous people through the Oceans Protection Plan. BCIT and Camosun will also cooperate with various industry partners, marine employers, and Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary.
Unions from Latin America partnered to provide help and solidarity to seafarers in distress in Central and South American ports. The meeting in Cartagena culminated with the launch of the ITF Latin American Contact Network, extending the ITF’s commitment to providing support to seafarers in the region.
The West of England Club conducted an analysis on claims involving seafarers who have deserted their vessel, concerning the past ten years. Although these claims are not common and are not much of an expense to shipping companies, they can disrupt the operation of a vessel and take up management time to rectify. Sometimes, the deserter returns shortly, and other times they disappear for a considerable period of time.
Iceland and Ethiopia have become the latest member states of the International Labour Organization (ILO) to ratify the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006, as amended (MLC 2006), which sets out minimum international working and living conditions for seafarers on board ships. The MLC will enter into force for the latest signatories in 2020, one year after its ratification.
Seafarers employed on Tsakos-owned vessels operated under its management arrangement with Columbia Shipmanagement will now be paid electronically as opposed to by ‘Cash-by-Master’, under an agreement signed with global maritime payments provider ShipMoney.
Maritime charity Sailors’ Society is petitioning the International Labour Organization (ILO) to make wellness training for seafarers mandatory in the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC). The petition is an important part of the charity’s Not On My Watch campaign to combat suicide and depression at sea.
This year, as always, the annual Day of the Seafarer (DotS) will be celebrated on 25 June. Throughout 2019 there will be a strong emphasis on the importance and value of women within the professional ranks. This year, the campaign hashtag is: #IAmOnBoard. In addition, a more specific and targeted element of the overall campaign will be ‘Make one change’.
During a mission to Croatia, ITF general secretary Stephen Cotton met with the Croatian Ship Manning Association and the Mare Nostrum Shipowner Association, along with ITF’s affiliate Seafarers Union of Croatia, to discuss how to protect working conditions for the country’s seafarers. Mario Zorovic, managing director of CROSMA, said that it employs 8,000 seafarers, with Croatia following all major conventions and regulations.
The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) informed that it initiated a targeted operation against German shipping company Johann M. K. Blumenthal, claiming that the company has refused to recognise seafarers’ welfare and rights. This operation aims to make sure that the company’s crews are paid properly, are adequately fed and that all of their rights are being granted.
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