On the 21st of April 2021, the recognized European social partners of the maritime transport sector – ETF and ECSA – issued a Joint Statement on the recognition of seafarers as key workers that reiterates their previous calls for seafarers’ prompt vaccination. The Joint Statement aims at assisting Member States in safeguarding the health and wellbeing of seafarers – including through access to vaccination – in order for them to continue performing their key work. Global seaborne supply chains supply the world with 90% of everything we consume as well as so much needed medical equipment, personal protective equipment, medicines and vaccinations to combat Covid-19.
ECSA and ETF would like to draw the attention of the Ministers of Transport to the recently adopted ILO Resolution on COVID-19 vaccination for seafarers which recognizes the importance of seafarers as key workers and calls upon States to provide seafarers with access to COVID-19 vaccination at the earliest opportunity.
ECSA and ETF welcome and support the efforts of those Member States that have already started or are ready to start vaccination of seafarers.
The vaccination of all seafarers who work on board a Member State flagged or managed vessel, regardless of their nationality, is considered by the European Social Partners the best possible approach for an industry that is truly global.
Some Member States have chosen this path; ECSA and ETF are grateful for that and call upon all Member States to follow their lead.