The World Federation of Trade Unions representing 105 million workers in every corner of the world stands on the side of the seafarers around the world who face additional problems during the covid-19 outbreak.

An estimated 200,000 to 300,000 seafarers are stuck on board because of government policies that prohibit regular crew changes, and even those who are still within their normal contract periods are feeling the pressure of the inability to sign off and return home, heavy workloads, virus fears and a perceived lack of Covid-19 precautions onboard vessels.

Even in the countries that begin to open up their borders, there are immense bureaucracy  difficulties crew change, with the authorities demanding to send papers and examinations many days before the arrival of a vessel to the port! Practically they demand medical examination from the seafarers while they’re at sea!

The prohibition of regular crew changes means unemployment for those who are now on land and additional health and mental risks for those who are on board.

The World Federation of Trade Unions demands that the ship-owners and the governments through their embassies to take all the necessary measures for the seafarers to travel back to their countries, to provide to them medical coverage and not be treated like carriers of the virus.

We call the international organizations to take action in practice in order to solve the seafarers’ issues.

The Secretariat


World Federation of Trade Unions