Maritime News

Maritime cabotage in spotlight at international ITF conference

1 June 2017

An ITF conference dedicated to maritime cabotage will be held in Cape Town this Sunday (4 June).

Maritime unions from around the world will be part of the event looking at the global strategy to assure decent terms and conditions continue in communities that were built on domestic jobs and determine where cabotage can be expanded or developed. 

Chair of the ITF cabotage taskforce James Given said: “Cabotage is under attack and the ITF taskforce and this global conference are representative of the commitment of the ITF and its maritime unions to fight back against that attack. We won’t allow national jobs to be sacrificed for big profits, for coastal communities to be overlooked and national security undermined.”

Chair of the ITF seafarers’ section Dave Heindel said: “Maritime workers have been challenged for decades.  The international markets are dominated by FOC’s and now those forces are looking to expand into new markets. Currently, there are very few opportunities, except in domestic trades. 

“This conference is intended to educate our affiliates on the importance of having a domestic jobs base and provide the tools necessary to protect it where it exist and create opportunities where it does not currently exist.We will host traditional seafarer unions and labor supply unions to develop synergies and opportunities. Seafarers of all nations deserve opportunities and that’s why protecting maritime cabotage is such a high priority for the ITF.

“When you consider trade agreements like TISA and CETA, it’s clear that maritime cabotage is under threat at a national level. Those responsible for protecting maritime cabotage must articulate a positive narrative and communicate effectively the favorable impact these jobs and industries provide, not only for the seafarer and their families, but their communities and States as a whole.  

“We look forward to working with all parties from across the maritime spectrum (industry, governments and labor) to assure cabotage exist where it is desired.  Our unions are ready to lobby and provide assistance to those in need and wishing to have a domestic industry providing a jobs and tax base.”

You can follow live reporting from the conference via /ITFglobal on Facebook, @ITFglobalunion on Twitter and @ITFglobal on Instagram. Look out for the conference hashtag #WeAreITF 


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