The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), the Marine Transport Workers' Trade Union of Ukraine (MTWTU) and V.Group have put together an are funding an organisation evacuate seafarers and their families from Ukraine and provide accommodation.
ITF has provided $200,000 in funding and working with the ITF Seafarers Trust and is calling for further funding and support from the industry for the initiative.
“Our thoughts are with everyone caught up in this conflict,” said David Heindel, Chair of the ITF Seafarers’ Trust and Chair of the ITF Seafarers’ Section. “I hope that as our humanitarian efforts continue, we can persuade other companies to join in and contribute to funding.”
ITF local affiliate in Ukraine MTWTU is helping to sign up seafarers and families to the programme.
“Our aim with this humanitarian initiative is to get people to safety as quickly as possible,” said Oleg Grygoriuk, Chairman at MTWTU. “Applications are already being processed and our partner V.Group’s teams are in place at the destinations to support seafarers’ families as they plan their onward journeys.”
Ship manager V.Group is coordinating accommodation in Poland and Romania, and support in planning onward journeys and securing accommodation.
Allan Falkenberg, Chief Operating Officer, V.Group, said: “Russian and Ukrainian crew make up 15% of the global fleet supply and we remain concerned about the safety and wellbeing of all our colleagues and their families impacted by the crisis in the Ukraine. This is a fast-changing situation, and this initiative is one way we can play a role in helping families at the first stage of what will be an emotional and difficult journey.
“We already work closely with ITF and have worked together in a fast and pragmatic way to get this project off the ground. We want to use our global scale and resources to help as many families as possible.”
Arrangements are already in place for evacuation from Odessa and anyone who wants to be included should register at the website www.seafarer.help