January 28, 2021
- De Micheli: designate seafarers as key workers? But
We already did it in March!
- Confitarma and other maritime organizations notice this
- For some time now, several international organizations in the
shipping sector, in particular those that deal with
maritime work, protest because some of the governments that
have explicitly recognized seafarers as workers
essential measures, and therefore partially exempted from the restrictive measures
mobility measures adopted around the world to contain the
Covid-19 pandemic, they actually do little or nothing because
changes in the crews of ships are facilitated, allowing
seafarers on board to return home and to those who have to
replace them to reach the place of embarkation.
- So an unequivocal statement that qualifies the
seafarers as key workers evidently is not
enough to go from intentions (insincere?) to facts.
Let alone when this statement is anything but
- The latter - ahinoi - is the case in Italy.
- Yet today the Italian Shipowners' Confederation (Confitarma)
applauded the national government for allegedly
solved the problem: "on behalf of the Italian armament-
declared the president of the organization, Mario Mattioli -
I would like to express my appreciation to Minister De Micheli for the
formal recognition by our country of seafarers as
essential workers. This recognition not only facilitates the
crew turnovers, could also be useful for
the inclusion of seafarers among the categories of subjects who have to
priority in the covid vaccination program».
- Do you want to see that the Minister of Infrastructure and
Transport, despite the government's dripping, wanted to
finally take a necessary step for a nation that at
squarciagola professes to be maritime?
- Mattioli drew confirmation "of the government's attention
italian for the maritime sector and its workers.
based on last Tuesday's circular letter with which
the International Maritime Organization has announced that the
italian company has delivered to the IMO a communication with the date of the
minister Paola De Micheli made the first
Secretary-General of the IMO, Kitack Lim, of the measures taken by the
government to respond to the Covid-19 crisis.
- By congratulating (practice?) the IMO 'for the
diligent and timely work in response to the Covid-19 pandemic
and especially for the work done in support of sea people,
confirmed by circular letters 4204/Add.35 and Add-35-rev-1',
De Micheli notified the IMO that 'in the context of the
covid-19 pandemic, starting from the temporary limitation of the
non-essential trips to Italy, the Government of the Republic of
Italian, by decree of 22 March 2020, has designated the transport of
maritime service as a necessary and essential service and, consequently,
seafarers as essential workers. In the light of the above -
concludes De Micheli's communication - confirming that the
seafarers are designated as "key workers", at the
in order to facilitate the change of crews and repatriations, I ask
secretariat to circulate this information to all
Member States of the IMO and to add Italy to the list of
nations that have designated seafarers as "workers
- Altolà. But then it is from March that seafarers are
essential workers have been appointed by the Italian Government. And so far
Confitarma didn't notice? As well as other
organizations in the Italian maritime and logistics sector, it is necessary to
- With the decree of 22 March, with the aim of
the spread of the pandemic, the Italian government had suspended
all industrial and commercial production activities
with the exception of some, including maritime and road transport
water. In addition, the measure established that
activities providing essential services referred to in Law No.
146 of 12 June 1990, the one regulating the right to strike in
essential public services and which, among public services,
explicitly mentions maritime transport to a limited extent.
to connections to the islands.
- Now you don't understand, or maybe we don't understand it,
if with the measure of last March Minister De Micheli, and
with her the whole government, meant that the Italian ships and the
italian seafarers could continue to operate or that the
could do maritime transport as a whole. In
the latter case, the one in which the IMO is concerned, namely that of a
maritime transport carried out by ships of different flags and by
seafarers of all nationalities, then yes the
italian government can be at peace with its conscience.
- The question remains as to why Confitarma and other
organisations have not so far noticed the timely formal
step taken by the executive. It remains to be asked why,
when the IMO itself and other international organizations
urged governments to take measures to allow the exchange of
crews of ships by designating seafarers as workers
the Italian government waited last Monday for the
let it be known that Italy had already done so. Perhaps he feared to
be labeled as the first in the class?
- Or, but we can hardly believe it, De Micheli and the government
italian people are unaware that maritime transport, just what in
much of it is essential for the functioning of the economy and
italian society, is mainly made up of ships
foreign countries and foreign seafarers.
- However, please, may the IMO promptly accept the invitation
to include Italy among the countries that treat seafarers as
essential workers. In case it will be up to the seafarers, who knows
nationality, to experience whether or not they are in Italy
in possession of this qualification. Mr Ahiloro.
- Bruno Bellio
- Piazza Matteotti 1/3 - 16123 Genoa - ITALY
phone: +39.010.2462122, fax: +39.010.2516768, e-mail