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15 August 2020 The on-line newspaper devoted to the world of transports 18:46 GMT+2



July 8, 2020

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EDITORIAL
Those of the sea? They are the last ones between the workers

Today the ships sound the sirens in order to carry the problem to take it in turns of the crews to the attention of the institutions, that other jolt would need very

If you are employee of a company you must not have difficulty to immedesimarvi. Imagined that the measures of lockdown in order containing the coronavirus pandemic have forced to you to remain at home in office rather than and to remain day and night to you. Besides the little that, for particular contingencies as a difficult familiar situation, compulsory prefer the hours to those domestic servants, the others would not see the hour to be able themselves to raise the chair and to leave the job. Imagined that, when by now the slackening of the restrictions allows with all the return to a normal life, you are only the obliged ones to become in office. Night and day. For days, that they become weeks.

How much you would resist? You would not last a day, perhaps two. Then the protest, the rebellion. You would telephone to the unions and newspapers. Then strike. As soon as before you go mad. Fortunately the liberal democracies of the West do not have more need than martyrs. Or yes?

Because in reality you are not segregated in office, but at home, and you can return to normality as soon as the authorities have marked the all-clear. Others have instead not been able it to make. Others that, to difference yours (and ours), that feeling of isolation and marginalization have not only lived it in the limited period of the emergenziale block, but have experienced it very before and continue to put up with it, even from when they have begun to work. Those wretches are the marine ones.

They were on the ships before it began the lockdown, than left to leopard spot then has been extended to the great part of the nations. They were on the ships, continuing to work, when you were off without being able to work or making it from remote. They are still on the ships when we and you, by now for a long time, are returned to the normal life. They are on board and they cannot even disembark not even in order not to go for a walk. To return at home of it is not spoken neither. They are on board practically illegally, since the employment contract, than for it is called contracted of enlistment (and already this would have to say very), is not respected being some artatamente been extended the duration.

Not to case the union International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF), doing again itself to reliefs of the International Labour Organization (ILO), in recent days, referring to the marine ones, has observed that to force vulnerable workers with little possibilities of alternatives to put up with job conditions that put them to risk and not to respect their rights can constitute a form of forced job and that the abuse of this vulnerability in order to extend theirs contracts forcing them to remain until 17 months in sea, with the their precarious legal situation and to the unavoidable dependency from their employers, could give origin to an analogous situation to the draft of human beings to fine of the exploitation of the labor.

These workers of the sea very rarely protest. Never they almost rebel themselves. If they telephone to the unions or newspapers as ours he is because they do not have job and they ask aid. They strike much little. And they make it that is those which can make it, those who are boarded on ships engaged on routes skipper or short beam. Those on board of the oceanic ships that cross the world simply cannot make it. They cannot because that of the marine ones that crosses the globe is a much fragmented world, constituted from workers who generally come from nations in which the trade-union protections they are minimal and that they have least opportunities to join in order to reach the critical mass necessary in order to start actions of protest.

To these manifestations us the unions think. But if the representatives of the workers of the sea have succeeded in proclaiming strikes that involve marine that navigates little away from home, almost no possibility of resolution would have strikes also indetti from international labor organizations with the attempt to safeguard the rights of the globetrotters of the seas. In fact, these last ones I lack think to us to proclaim them.

In these weeks, in which the marine one against his will it is profitable enslaved and celebrated as hero, neither the ITF neither the homologous European union ETF have announced the resource to a strike that, in spite of the dramatic situation, would be resolved in a flask.

Today to the hours the 12,00 in the ports of the world ships will sound their sirens in order to speed up the governments to allow the change of the crews of the ships, in order to afford to those on board to return at home and those for a long time waiting for the boarding of being able to get aboard. The initiative is of the shipowning association International Chamber of Shipping (ICS). Praiseworthy the attempt, but a little little in order to speed up the respect of the rights of people who are not withheld a day in more of the due to their writing desk, but that from weeks they are hostage of their ships. A little little by employers that, fortunately only in the nations of the liberal democracies, can be confronted with workers (recruited) that practically they cannot make use of the strike right.

Certainly the international and national ICS and the other shipowning organizations have made remarkable pressures on the authorities in order to speed up answers to the problem. Indeed, the answers have already supplied them the same industry of the shipping that it has offered to the institutions a well and truly ready procedure for the changes of the crews that are approved of by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the agency of the United Nations that takes care of the marine field.

In Italy, nation that traditionally is refolded on if same and it does not look beyond the national borders unless someone beyond border does not interfere of the facts ours, the problem does not seem to graze to us, in spite of the sollicitations to face it coming from the shipowning associations Confitarma and Assarmatori and from the unions. To governmental, ministerial, regional and local level it has been limited us up to now to take some provision because the marine services continued to serve the requirements of the country. Some effort in order to allow with the ferries and the ships engaged in the connections with the islands to work. No engagement so that the rights of workers employed on the oceanic ships are respected that enliven the Italian commerce with foreign country.

In the light of this, the lucky people who work on board of ships that navigate between Italian ports or little more in the future they can, however with difficulty, to see respected their rights, while the wretches that are already a lot if they know in which part of the world are found to navigate do not have the minimal idea of when their detainment ends. If this is unacceptable for protected employees who sit to a writing desk, he is still more inadmissible for vulnerable workers today more than ever dispersed offshore.

It is for that the greater world-wide companies of navigation, whose ships fly flags of all the types between which those of born merchant navies with the scope to only afford to elude landing charges and trade-union, they would have to perhaps make more in order to defend their workers without protections. To sound the sirens? Not enough.

Why, then, not to stop the ships? Very rarely, indeed almost never the shipowners are rerun to this form of abstention from the job. "Naval blockades" are put into effect are in exceptional cases in order to defend the direct interests of their field. For the shipowning large groups today to stop also for a single day the ships it wants to say you must yourself be confronted with remarkable extraordinary burdens and making it in a moment as that current one, in which the world it is entering in a phase of serious economic crisis, appears as a movement commits suicide.

However to sound the sirens for some ten of second does not annoy nobody. Saying without hypocrisies: a strike has succeeded when the institutions are decided to receive the requests of the promoters of the abstention from the job on the wave of the protests of those people to which strike cause uneasiness.

Interest of the shipowners - from the international ICS to the European ECSA downwards - would have to be also that to safeguard and to promote the attraction of the marine profession. Interest that sure is, since, remaining in European within, the shipowning organizations periodically speed up the EU to stimulate and to stimulate the access to the marine professions and regularly the shipowning European Union and organizations are boasted to offer to the European citizens places of work highly characterized in the marine field.

Which it can be the perception of a young person regarding the perspectives offered from this field when those of the sea are dealt as the last ones between the workers? Which it can be the interest to enter in an Istituto Nautico when then your profession "highly characterized" forces you to an imprisonment on a ship inhabited from little other wretches? As if to appreciate Dante it were deemed a privilege for which they are forced to discount a preventive jail sentence.

Bruno Bellio


PSA Genova Pra'



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