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Major transport union urges total halt of shipping in Red Sea


The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) today called on the global shipping industry to divert ships around the Cape of Good Hope until safe transit through the Red Sea can be guaranteed.

The ITF condemned in the strongest possible terms the attack Wednesday by Houthi militants on the MV True Confidence, which has claimed the lives of three seafarers and left others wounded. “No delivery window is worth the loss of seafarers’ lives.” 

This act of senseless violence on the high seas is an affront to transport workers all over the world and a clear violation of international law. 
“Our hearts ache for the families and loved ones of the seafarers who lost their lives and were injured in this horrific attack,” said Stephen Cotton, General Secretary of the ITF. “We stand in unwavering solidarity with them during this time of unimaginable grief and offer our support in navigating the aftermath of this tragedy.”  
“We have consistently warned the international community and the maritime industry about the escalating risks faced by seafarers in the Gulf of Aden and Red Sea. Today, with profound sorrow, we see those warnings tragically confirmed.”  

ITF Seafarers’ Section Chair David Heindel said: “It is with deep sorrow and heavy hearts that we extend our sincerest condolences to the families, friends, and colleagues of the seafarers who lost their lives in the tragic and unprovoked attack by Houthi violence. I cannot find adequate words to express the profound sadness that envelops us upon learning of this devastating loss.

“These brave seafarers embarked on their journeys with a commitment to connect nations, facilitate trade, and uphold the vital maritime industry. Their dedication to their profession was an embodiment of resilience and courage. The news of their untimely departure weighs heavily on all of us, and we stand together in mourning the immeasurable loss.”

The attack serves as the starkest reminder of the urgent need for collective action to safeguard the lives of those who keep the global economy afloat, the ITF said.

(Photo courtesy of U.S. Central Command)