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  • Transport workers claim, "We have reached a breaking point"
    2021-10-12 hit 660

    Global transport workers claim, “We have reached a breaking point” and warn a “global supply chain system collapse”

     

     

    - Seafarers, truck drivers and airline workers send an open letter to heads of state attending the United Nations General Assembly

     

    CNN released a report on September 29th (local time) of a potential risk of a global supply chain system collapse. This warning was claimed by seafarers, truck drivers and airline workers who have endured quarantines, travel restrictions and complex Covid-19 vaccination and testing requirements to keep stretched supply chains moving during the pandemic. But many are now reaching their breaking point, posing yet another threat to the badly tangled network of ports, container vessels and trucking companies that moves goods around the world.

     

    In an open letter to heads of state attending the United Nations General Assembly, International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and other industry groups warned of a “global transport system collapse” if governments do not restore freedom of movement to transport workers and give them priority to receive vaccines recognized by the World Health Organization.

     

    The letter signed by the ICS, International Air Transport Association (IATA), International Road Transport Union (IRU) and International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) ? altogether representing more than 65 million transport laborer members ? says “Global supply chains are beginning to buckle as two years' worth of strain on transport workers take their toll.” The letter added, “All transport sectors are also seeing a shortage of workers, and expect more to leave as a result of the poor treatment millions have faced during the pandemic, putting the supply chain under greater threat.”

     

    Guy Platten, secretary general of the ICS, said that worker shortages are likely to worsen towards the end of the year because seafarers may not want to commit to new contracts and risk not making it home for Christmas given port shutdowns and constant changes to travel restrictions. He added such worker shortages will heap pressure on stretched supply chains and could, for example, worsen current challenges with food and fuel supply in the United Kingdom. Steven Cotton, the general secretary of ITF added, “The global supply chain is very fragile and the time has come for heads of government to respond to these workers' needs.”

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