Transport Bodies urge the UN to end COVID-19 suffering in Global Supply Chains
Road, air and ocean organisations, representing management and labour, have called on the world’s heads of government to end the bureaucratically imposed COVID-19 lockdowns that have resulted in a humanitarian crisis in supply chains, reports the American Journal of Transportation.
In an open letter, the International Road Transport Union, the International Air Transport Association, the International Chamber of Shipping, the International Transport Workers’ Federation, made an urgent plea to the world’s heads of government to restore freedom of movement to transport workers.
Transport workers have all continued to keep global trade flowing throughout the pandemic, but it has taken a human toll. At the peak of the crew change crisis 400,000 seafarers were unable to leave their ships, some working for as long as 18 months over their initial contracts.
Flights have been restricted and aviation workers have faced the inconsistency of border, travel, restrictions, and vaccine requirements. Additional, systemic and unpredictable controls at road borders has meant truck drivers have been forced to wait, sometimes in their thousands and for weeks in unsanitary situations without proper facilities, before being able to complete their journeys and return home.
Global supply chains are beginning to buckle as close to two years’ worth of strain on transport workers take their toll. Transport heads warned that states have failed to listen or take the decisive and coordinated action, and called on heads of government to end the blame-shifting within and between governments and resolve this crisis before the looming holiday season again increases freight demand, further pressuring already beleaguered supply chains.