International Transport Workers’ Federation condemns Myanmar military coup
The international maritime transit workers union announced that it is concerned about Burmese seafarers’ well-being amid the ongoing Myanmar military coup.
By Michael McGrady, Maritime Direct Americas & Pacific Correspondent
LONDON — The International Transport Workers’ Federation announced on Monday that the federation is concerned about Burmese seafarers’ well-being amid the ongoing Myanmar military coup.
“What is taking place in Myanmar should anger every trade unionist across the globe,” said Paddy Crumlin, the ITF president. “At the heart of unionism is democracy: the self-determination of the people to speak up, stand together, and build a future of our choosing.”
Crumlin adds: “The military thugs who are ransacking Myanmar’s democracy strike at the heart of our union values and freedoms, and we must challenge them.”
The ITF also reaffirmed that it fully supports the Independent Federation of Myanmar Seafarers (IFMOS), an affiliate with the federation’s Seafarers’ section. ITF and IFMOS said that they also support the election results certification from November 8, 2020. Both call for the “immediate return to [a] democratic, civilian government.”
Unfortunately, the Myanmar military declared the results of the November election to be “illegitimate.” It perpetrated a coup against democratically elected State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint. The position of state counsellor is the de facto head of government in Myanmar.
“Burmese seafarers are some of the hardest-working, most brave maritime workers in the world,” said David Heindel, the chair of the ITF Seafarers’ section, in the same press release as Crumlin. “They have helped power the shipping industry in every corner of the globe to keep shelves stocked, industries operating, and medicines distributed. It is now time for us to show an equal bravery and tireless commitment in standing with them to defend their democratic rights.”
Myanmar, also known as Burma, hugs the Bay of Bengal along a contiguous coastline. Myanmar has sought to become an Asia hub for shipping to compete with nearby China, Thailand, India, Vietnam, and Cambodia with its geographical position.