Countries of the world: give seafarers the gift of recognising them
Tuesday, an unanimous UN General Assembly voted to support the request that all countries define seafarers as key workers. Now we need words to turn into action.
We support the resolution wholeheartedly. For ten months, we have fought to be able to let our seafarers leave the ship when their contract has ended – and to let them join their vessel when their contract should start. We have begged the world’s countries to treat seafarers as what they are: essential to the world. Still, we have been forced to ask our colleagues to sign extended contracts. Some has stayed on board for as much as 13 months.
Thanks to the partnership with other companies, a few countries’ cooperation, and ingenuity in our crewing team, we have done much. By Christmas, Grieg Star will have close to no seafarers who have stayed on board for more than 11 months. We are still working to reduce the number of extended contracts.
But this may change quickly. Vaccines against Covid-19 will hopefully give us normality back. But that will not happen in quite a few months. In the meantime, we need the countries voting for that UN resolution to act accordingly. You said seafarers should be defined as key workers. You said all governments should facilitate crew changes. Give the world’s two million seafarers that as your Christmas present to them: Let them travel. Give them medical assistance. Treat them as what they are: essential to your health, welfare and prosperity.
Click on the IMO logo to read more.