Two ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation) action weeks will cover East Asian waters and the Black Sea in a sweep to search out and rectify substandard conditions. Both events will run from 6 to 10 July.
In the East Asia event teams of ITF inspectors and dockers’ and seafarers’ union members will visit vessels in ports in Japan, Korea, Russia and Taiwan to inspect and enforce decent pay and working conditions.
In Japan a rally will also be held at the headquarters of the Kotoku Kaiun company, over its refusal to engage in dialogue with union representatives.
Meanwhile in the Black Sea – dubbed ‘the sea of shame’ by the ITF for the shocking casualties and conditions there – inspection teams in Russia, Georgia, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey and Israel will be aiming to eradicate or reduce the levels of dangerously substandard shipping there. Alongside this mission they aim to educate seafarers about their rights and publicly highlight what is going on with shipping on the Black Sea.
To add to the problems of the Black Sea, much of whose shipping is characterised by its age, unsuitability and uninsured status, there has been a collapse in wheat freight rates that is likely to lead to a new downward spiral of competition and possible company failures.
For more about ITF unions’ campaign to improve shipping on the Black Sea please visit “The Black Sea project“