The socio-economic impact on both companies and their employees is huge.
Brussels, 31 March, 2020. European Social Partners for Inland Waterways Transport (EBU/ESO/ETF) note the immense challenge the COVID-19 pandemic poses to the sector.
As one of the essential sectors, IWT has to remain in safe operational mode throughout Europe. Safety under the present circumstances gets a deeper meaning: besides the safe sailing, safe working on board is paramount.
Social Partners launch this urgent call to the European Commission, the National Governments of all European navigating countries, all local bodies and authorities as well to the employers and employees themselves, to take into account our joint requests and recommendations.
Continuity for companies and crewmembers
Many European countries issue national economic measures in support of their industries and employees. As European Social Partners we would like to underline that striving for balance is essential. Measures have to support the continuity of the shipping companies, but also have to ensure income security for all crewmembers too, both for freight and passenger transport, as well as for both nautical and hotel staff. We deem it of the utmost importance that crewmembers have security in these difficult times. This is the only fair guarantee for well trained and qualified crewmembers to remain available for the IWT sector once the crisis is over and to solidify knowledge and competencies within their own sector.