Again this year, the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) is glad to promote and celebrate the Day of the Seafarer. ETF is proud to represent more than 270 000 hard-working seafaring people from all over Europe, and we pay tribute to their unique contribution to international and European seaborne trade, the European economy and civil society as a whole. The ETF is particularly pleased to note that the International Maritime Organisation’s theme for the 2018 Day of the Seafarer “seafarers’ wellbeing”.
“ETF together with ITF has been tireless in pursuing a decent working environment for seafarers and we remain convinced that our ability to address seafarers’ wellbeing and in particular mental health issues is an essential contribution to achieving this goal,” said Mark Dickinson, Chair of the EU Committee of the ETF Maritime Transport Section and also ETF spokesperson to the European Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee (SSDC) for Maritime Transport.
Today ETF is holding an important meeting of the SSDC together with the European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA). This meeting is timely as it coincides with the celebration of Day of the Seafarer, allowing the ETF to celebrate it meaningfully by reminding shipping companies of their obligations towards seafarers.
ETF is using this day to set up an ETF-ECSA working party on seafarers’ health and safety. There is no doubt that seafarers’ mental health, social isolation and depression will be high on the agenda of this joint working group, together with related issues such as onboard nutrition, obesity and the lack of facilities for physical activity.
“We are glad that our social partner is showing a willingness to address matters of great importance to seafarers’ wellbeing. What will be crucial is the proper implementation of the stated health and safety policy goals by the shipping companies, so as to effectively address the many shortcomings that exist in this area” Mr Dickinson added.