With many seafarers facing a second December away from home, Nautilus is calling for government and industry to carry out as many crew changes as possible to 'deliver seafarers home for Christmas'.
400,000 seafarers are thought to be stranded on ships worldwide due to the failure of government to allow travel to and from vessels during the Covid-19 crisis. Research by the Union shows that almost all seafarers have been directly affected by the pandemic.
Nautilus International has been inundated with requests for support from these seafarers, who have been dealing with issues such as exhaustion, redundancy, and cuts to pay and conditions. Many have either been stranded at sea, away from their loved ones, or trapped at home where they are unable to earn a living.
In a new campaign, the Union is launching a petition which urges governments and the United Nations to work together to ensure that seafarers are designated as key workers in every country, and to allow global crew changes to take place.
'Our members work hard to supply food, medicines – and to deliver Christmas – to households. They often do so without much acknowledgement or public recognition,' Nautilus International general secretary Mark Dickinson said.
'This year, the coronavirus pandemic has given rise to unprecedented levels of stress, fatigue and safety concerns due to countries closing their borders and preventing them from seeing loved ones. Now many of our members are left re-considering their very future in the industry.
'Normally at this time of year we remind people that seafarers deliver them Christmas. This year we are calling on everyone to deliver seafarers home for Christmas.'