The call is coming on the heels of boat tragedies

2010.09.23_itf.jpgThe International Transport workers Federation (ITF) has called on all transport workers unions particularly in Russia to support the ITF campaign against irresponsible ship owners and operators, who, in the pursuit of short-term profit, who daily jeopardise the safety and lives of both passengers and transport workers.

The call is coming on the heels of boat tragedies, particularly in Russia, where a tourist vessel "The Bulgaria" sank in the River Volga on July 10, killing 120 people on board.

The campaign followed media reports that the ship's operator held no passenger licence, and that the vessel had been overloaded, besides an allegation that one of its engines was not functioning.

ITF Russia representative, Mikhail Lyakhov lamented that "the situation arouses serious concern, because the majority of vessels of this class in Russia are aged over 30 years - The Bulgaria was in fact built in 1955."

He added that, "In this tragic moment we express our solidarity with the transport workers of Russia and with all people of Russia."

In a letter expressing condolences to the families of victims, ITF General Secretary, David Cockroft expressed hope that there would be a proper investigation into the causes of the tragedy.

Already, the director of the company that leased the vessel and a registrar who certified it have been arrested.

The ITF is an international trade union federation of transport workers' unions founded in 1896, with membership comprises 779 unions, representing over 4,668,950 transport workers in 155 countries. It is one of several Global Federation Unions allied with the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC).

Source: All Africa News