Joint Release by MPA, SMOU, SOS and SSA: Tripartite Partners Call upon Ships to Sound their Horns to Show Support for Seafarers

30 April 2020

     The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), the Singapore Maritime Officers’ Union (SMOU), the Singapore Organisation of Seamen (SOS) and the Singapore Shipping Association (SSA) are calling upon ships in
the Port of Singapore to sound their horns for 15 seconds at 12 noon (Singapore local time) on Labour Day. The maritime tripartite initiative serves as a special tribute to recognise the contributions of seafarers in keeping supply chains robust and maritime trade going amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

2     In Singapore, 1 May marks Labour Day, which is an occasion to acknowledge the valuable contributions of our workers and to reaffirm the commitment of labour movement leaders, employers and the government to
safeguard the interests of workers.

3     The International Chamber of Shipping and the International Transport Workers Federation have jointly called upon countries to recognise seafarers as key workers of global trade, and to shed light on the important work they carry out in the ongoing pandemic.

4     Ms Quah Ley Hoon, MPA’s Chief Executive, said, “Singapore is grateful to every member of our maritime workforce for their tireless contributions over the years in building Singapore into a global hub port and an international maritime centre. In these challenging times, we wish to show our appreciation to maritime personnel, especially seafarers, and stand in solidarity to ensure that global trade and supply lines stay resilient to support pandemic response around the world.”

5     Ms Mary Liew, SMOU’s General Secretary, said, “Seafarers are essential service providers of the global supply chain. They play a critical role during this pandemic by transporting essential goods such as food and medicine to consumers and hospitals across the world. On Labour Day, we call on ships to collectively sound their horns to show our appreciation and solidarity with our seafarers, the unsung heroes of global trade.”

6     Mr Daniel Tan, SOS’ General Secretary, said, “Seafarers are responsible for delivering more than 80% of the world’s exports. They are fundamental to the operations of the global supply chain. Due to travel restrictions brought about by COVID-19, we understand the challenges that seafarers face and have worked closely with employers and MPA to address the crew change situation prudently.”

7     Ms Caroline Yang, SSA’s President, said, “Most of what we buy and consume are delivered by ships. As a key maritime node in the world dependent on seafarers for the most energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly mode of transporting cargo, let us laud these unsung heroes who are keeping countries supplied with essentials such as food, fuel and medical supplies, not only during the COVID-19 pandemic, but daily, throughout the year.”

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