Social partners urge EU transport ministers to prioritise seafarers’ needs during the holiday period

4 Dec 2020

Ahead of the Informal Videoconference of the Ministers of Transport on 8 December 2020, ETF and ECSA urge EU Member States to make the wellbeing of seafarers a priority during the holiday period.

Seafarers have served the world throughout this pandemic in challenging circumstances, and yet hundreds of thousands of them are still stranded at sea, unable to spend time with their loved ones and often unable to access critical services like health care. Social partners reiterate their call to EU Ministers of Transport to acknowledge the needs of seafarers by ensuring that national measures continue to facilitate – and not stifle –  crew changes, repatriations and medical assistance for seafarers. Among the proposed measures, they call on all EU Member States to designate seafarers as key workers and improve visa-obtaining processes for seafarers.

At the same time, ETF and ECSA encourage Ministers to ensure that seafarers, as key workers, are among the priority categories for COVID-19 vaccinations in national strategies. National trade unions, as well as employers’ organisations, are ready to assist with vaccination efforts to ensure the protection of seafarers.

The letter is available here.

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