We started the year with lots restrictions on travel, quarantine and vaccines around the world. It was difficult to get to work and families were feeling the strain of COVID lockdowns and no sailing. We ramped up our campaign to make seafarers key workers aiming to make travel easier, prioritise vaccines and to protect terms and conditions of work.
Our office in Bali distributed food supplies to seafarers and their families in February and continued to meet seafarers dealing with medical issues.
On 8th March we celebrated International Women’s Day. This inspired to create our Women at Sea network in collaboration with the ITF. Watch this space!
In 2021, we joined forces with KPI (Indonesian Seafarers Union) and convinced the Indonesian government to deliver a comprehensive programme of vaccination to seafarers as a priority. Our office in San Juan also worked throughout the year to help seafarers get vaccinated.
In another joint action with the ITF, we assisted seafarers stranded on cargo ships. We sent gifts and helped with vaccines.
For the first time, we worked with sister unions in the ITF to deliver a series of Facebook live sessions on health and wellbeing, including a special on World AIDS Day 2021.
In September, we were able to hold the only cruise seminar of the pandemic with our fantastic friends at the Croatian Seafarers Union.
Thanks to a new initiative by us, seafarers are now able to receive packages at Seafarers House in Old San Juan. The first seafarers to use the service arrived on Viking Sea. This was after the arrival of the Seabourn Ovation, the first cruise ship to visit the port in nearly two years!
In November, we marked International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women around the world for the first time. We are planning to be even bigger on this next year.
Throughout the year we have met regularly with cruise companies. We have negotiated extensions to collective bargaining agreements or protocols that protect existing conditions. Whatever happens with COVID, we will continue our work to make life better for everyone who works at sea.
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If you have news from 2021 that you want us to share, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org