When is enough going to be enough?

20 May 2022

Today, our thoughts are with the Italian families of the five crew members of the Franco P, who lost their lives on the job just off the coast of Bari yesterday.

Once again, the Tug & Towage sector faces casualties on the job due to health and safety regulations that are not properly implemented.

The ETF Tug & Towage Committee is expressing its solidarity with our affiliates CGIL, CISL and UIL on  strike today to convince the Italian authorities to recognise the particular working conditions Tug & Towage workers face daily.

According to the existing rules, the official investigation into the causes of the accident is still ongoing. But no matter what the results of this investigation are going to be, one thing is for sure: nothing will bring the loved ones who died yesterday while being on duty back to them

ETF and our affiliates have been warned about the harmful and sometimes dramatic consequences of the increasing pressure on Tug crew members’ terms and working conditions for many years.

More than this,  an international campaign was launched by trade unions across the globe to raise awareness of the dramatic situation of the workers in the Tug & Towage sector.

Jacques Kerkhof, Chair of the ETF Tug & Towage Committee, considers that this race to the bottom initiated by the big shipping companies must stop as too many lives have been lost already. What will it take before human lives prevail over profit? This tragedy is one too many! It is time for the Tug companies to take their responsibility.

Livia Spera, ETF General Secretary, also stated:

‘When enough is going to be enough? How many more workers should we lose along the way until something is done? How many destines must be smashed in a second for profit instead of the safety of our transport workers? When our workers will worth more than the big profit of the business in the transport sector? I’ll make sure we will not stay silent on this and will fight for the safety  of our workers in the Tug & Towage sector.’  

We are more than ever determined to stop such tragedies from happening again and again! We demand that shipping companies, Tug & Towage companies, Port Authorities, and other regulating bodies respect national and international health and safety regulations to provide a safe workplace for all.