Skip to main content

Trade union leaders resolved to support growth of the Sri Lankan maritime industry

23 Sep 2019
Press Release

“We made a conscious decision to hold these two major ITF maritime conferences in Colombo, to show our commitment to activating growth and awareness of the Sri Lankan maritime sector and to show support and solidarity to the Sri Lankan people after the tragic events that took place in April,” said ITF general secretary Stephen Cotton.

“As an island nation, seafaring will always be crucial for Sri Lanka, and given the country’s strategic location in terms of global trade routes, Sri Lankan seafarers are very compatible with other nationalities.

“This is the first country in the world where we are pioneering health and wellbeing training for maritime cadets, in partnership with our affiliate the National Union of Sri Lankan Seafarers and the Colombo International Nautical and Engineering College.

“I commend the National Union of Sri Lankan Seafarers for promoting and supporting its members and working with companies to ensure job opportunities for Sri Lankan seafarers. I hope more companies invest in Sri Lankan seafarers as part of their manning pool,” said Cotton.

Nearly 400 trade unionists from across the globe gathered in Colombo, Sri Lanka, for two major maritime conferences, including ITF’s Maritime Roundtable on September 16-19 and ITF’s Worldwide Inspectors’ Seminar or September 22-25.

The Maritime Roundtable brought together union leaders and young activists to build networks and increase the organising capacity of dockers’ and seafarers’ unions from around the globe.

This week, ITF coordinators, inspectors and contacts are meeting to refocus and retool the ITF Inspectorate and realign the objectives of the Flags of Convenience (FoC), Ports of Convenience (PoC) and other priority campaigns.

Representatives from IMEC were also invited and participated in a panel discussion on the International Bargaining Forum along with elected officers of the ITF seafarers’ section committee.

“We hope both events will help continue building seafarers’ and dockers’ power in Sri Lanka, the wider Asia-Pacific region and across the globe,” said Cotton.

For more information contact Luke Menzies on +61 (0) 433 889 844 or

Post new comment

Restricted HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.