IRU, the world road transport organisation, IATA, the International Air Transport Association, ICS, the International Chamber of Shipping, and ITF, the International Transport Workers’ Federation, have come together to make an urgent plea to the world’s heads of government and the United Nations Agencies to remove restrictions hampering the free movement of transport workers, and guarantee and facilitate their free and safe movement.
“We are witnessing unprecedented disruptions and global delays and shortages on essential goods including electronics, food, fuel and medical supplies. Consumer demand is rising and the delays look set to worsen ahead of Christmas and continue into 2022”, note the organisations in their joint letter. The sector sees “shortages of workers and expects more to leave our industries as a result of the poor treatment they have faced during the pandemic, putting the supply chain under greater threat”.
Since the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the maritime, road and aviation industries have called loudly and clearly on governments to ensure the free movement of transport workers and to end travel bans and other restrictions that have had an enormously detrimental impact on their wellbeing and safety. The impact of nearly two years’ worth of strain, placed particularly upon maritime and road transport workers, but also impacting air crews, is now being seen. Their continued mistreatment is adding pressure on an already crumbling global supply chain.
The bodies represent more than $20 trillion of world trade annually and 65 million global transport workers and more than 3.5 million road freight and airline companies and more than 80% of the world merchant shipping fleet.