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Celebrating the International Day of the Seafarer: Honouring the Backbone of Global Trade

Every year on June 25th, the world celebrates the International Day of the Seafarer. This special occasion recognizes the invaluable contributions made by seafarers to the global economy and trade. As we commemorate this day in 2023, the Union of Canadian Transportation Employees (UCTE) proudly salutes the brave men and women who navigate the high seas, ensuring the smooth functioning of maritime commerce. Join us in honouring the unsung heroes who are the backbone of Canada’s maritime industry.

Seafarers: Champions of Global Trade:

Seafarers facilitate international trade by transporting goods and commodities across oceans. In Canada, our seafarers are responsible for efficiently moving goods such as natural resources, manufactured products, and agricultural commodities. Their tireless efforts ensure that the country remains connected to the global marketplace. Today, we express our gratitude for their dedication, professionalism, and resilience in carrying out their demanding tasks.

Challenging Working Conditions:

Working at sea presents unique challenges and demands that few other professions encounter. Seafarers often spend months away from their families, navigating unpredictable weather conditions and braving the isolation and loneliness of long voyages. They work around the clock, ensuring the safe and efficient transportation of goods while coping with physical and mental stresses. The International Day of the Seafarer allows us to acknowledge and support seafarers, advocating for better working conditions and welfare measures.

Upholding Seafarers’ Rights:

As we celebrate the International Day of the Seafarer, it is essential to reflect on the rights and well-being of these dedicated professionals. Governments, industry stakeholders, and unions like the UCTE must continue to work collaboratively to ensure seafarers’ rights are respected. This includes fair wages, decent living conditions onboard ships, access to healthcare and education, and protection against exploitation. Promoting seafarers’ rights can create a sustainable and inclusive maritime industry.

Supporting Mental Health and Well-being:

Seafaring can be mentally and emotionally challenging due to the isolated nature of the work. The UCTE recognizes the importance of prioritizing seafarers’ mental health and well-being. On this occasion, we emphasize the need for comprehensive mental health support services, including access to counselling and resources, and fostering a supportive and inclusive work environment. By addressing the mental health needs of seafarers, we can ensure their overall well-being and job satisfaction.

Investing in Training and Education:

Continuous professional development and training are vital for seafarers to adapt to the evolving demands of the maritime industry. The UCTE advocates for accessible and quality training programs to equip seafarers with the necessary skills and knowledge. Investing in training and education can enhance the safety, efficiency, and overall professionalism of the Canadian maritime workforce.

On this International Day of the Seafarer, let us recognize the remarkable contributions made by seafarers to our nation’s prosperity and global trade. The UCTE extends its heartfelt appreciation to these unsung heroes who keep our ports busy, our ships afloat, and our economy thriving. As we commemorate this day, let us reaffirm our commitment to advocating for seafarers’ rights, welfare, and well-being. Together, we can create a brighter future for our seafarers and ensure the sustainability of Canada’s maritime industry.

Union of Canadian Transportation Employees

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