The news of Hanjin's recent bankruptcy has raised concerns among welfare organisations and unions about the company's 2500 seafarers who could run out of food, fuel and other essentials. Recent reports state that there are around 85 vessels which are currently stranded off 50 ports in 26 countries. Reports indicate that arrangements are in place to resupply all vessels with vital provisions, but ISWAN is concerned about the uncertainty over a long term solution for Hanjin's seafarers.
Welfare organisations and unions are working to lessen the impact on seafarers caused by the financial collapse, and to ensure they are prepared for any potential problems. ITF Maritime Coordinator Jacqueline Smith told ISWAN:
"The welfare of Hanjin seafarers is being monitored by the ITF and our affiliate union the Federation of Korean Seafarers (FKSU), which is part of a Korean government taskforce, along with the Korean Shipowners' Association. That governmental taskforce is clearly addressing the problems. Its first priority was to ensure that provisions and water were put onboard all ships, and we understand that insurance has also been taken out to cover three months' wages for all crew as well as three years' pension entitlements.
"ITF inspectors have visited Hanjin ships in many countries, and the news from crews so far is that they are being paid, have food and are in good spirits."
The Mission to Seafarers has also issued a statement of support for Hanjin's seafarers, and urged the company to ensure crews know how to find emergency help if needed. The 200 MTS Port Welfare teams around the world are well prepared to care for seafarers who have been affected in any way.
ISWAN's SeafarerHelp team are on hand to assist any seafarers or their family members who are affected by the situation.
ISWAN along with other seafarer welfare organisations will continue to monitor the situation and will be ready to assist if necessary.