CEO Bulletin: Pressure paying off
As we have enjoyed sweltering heat this week here in the UK my thoughts turned to the hundreds of thousands of seafarers stuck on board ships across the world. Yesterday was the UN Day of the Seafarer and we used it to highlight the vitally important role seafarers have played during Covid-19. Bringing us the goods, food and medicines we have needed to survive as a country. The UK government has done more than most on this issue and I was delighted to work with the Shipping Minster on a joint opinion piece for Lloyd’s List highlighting the plight of many and the work needed to sort out this critical issue. To help raise awareness of the situation I also spoke to the BBC World Service and LBC.
We also had the welcome news that the UK government has agreed to our request to host the first international Ministerial Summit on the impact of Covid-19 on crew changes next month, bringing together UN, political and business leaders from across the globe. This is a hugely positive step in the right direction and we hope issues can be resolved and procedures put in place to allow the 400,000 seafarers who are stuck at sea to get off their vessels, get home and be replaced.
There was also an important intervention this week from the former Shipping Minister Nus Ghani who, during Prime Minister Question’s, asked the PM whether he would agree to meet with her and the UK Chamber of Shipping to discuss the issue of seafarers stuck at sea. The PM agreed and we look forward to meeting with him and Nus in the near future.
Last week we wrote to the Scottish Cabinet Secretary Michael Matheson MSP seeking urgent action to stop Scottish seafarers being unfairly penalised by the current quarantine restrictions and on Tuesday we had the good news that the Scottish Government amended their regulations so Scottish seafarers no longer have to isolate for 14-days when returning to Scotland for more than 14 days of leave. A great result for our members and Scottish seafarers after a lot of hard work from the policy team at the Chamber.
This week saw the Chamber run its Understanding UK Shipping course online for the first time. There were over 50 people who joined the day long course and the feedback was incredibly positive. We also held our first webinar which was in association with Gard. Keep checking our website for more webinars over the coming months.