ITF Inspectors Meet in Piney Point for Training


March 2012


Back to Issue

The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) conducted a training symposium Feb. 7-9 at the SIU-affiliated Paul Hall Center for Maritime Training and Education in Piney Point, Md.


The conference was attended by 26 ITF inspectors and their staffs from seven countries. Its purpose was to familiarize participants with the capabilities of a new information technology system that is being installed to make the job of inspecting flag of convenience (FOC) ships easier.


Purchased by the ITF’s Special Seafarers Department, the new state-of-theart system boasts an up-to-date database that stores a myriad of information on all FOC vessels. Included are specifics about violations and shortcomings on such issues as lost or unpaid wages, safety, work hours and working conditions. According to SIU Secretary-Treasurer David Heindel, who also serves as the ITF Seafarers’ Section Chair, “This equipment is going to be a huge improvement over the existing method because inspectors will now have the ability to track the actions of each vessel as they transit from one location to another.


“Not only will this technology give inspectors a heads up on vessels and their locations,” Heindel continued, “it will also allow them to easily identify problem vessels when they enter ports and single out those that have ongoing and/or unresolved issues.”


Heindel said that in years past, inspectors had to board ships when they entered ports and in the process of servicing them, look around and talk to crew members to find out if anything was wrong. “Now they’ll already know if a vessel has problems, what those problems are and what is being done to resolve them,” he said. “Inspectors can now do a more professional and efficient job.”

The ITF is a federation of 779 transport trade unions in 155 countries, representing more than 4.6 million workers. Founded in 1896 in London, the organization represents transport workers at the world level and promotes their interests through global campaigning and solidarity. It is dedicated to the advancement of independent and democratic trade unionism, and to the defense of fundamental human and trade union rights.



Share |