Changes for Supply Chain Workers Needed to Save Global Economy

Transportation worker organizations have an open letter urging world leaders to remove restrictions hampering the free movement of transport workers, and guarantee and facilitate their free and safe movement.

Land, Sea and air travel worker organizations support $20 trillion of world trade annually and represent 65 million global transport workers, and over 3.5 million road freight and airline companies, as well as more than 80% of the world merchant shipping fleet.

There have been unprecedented disruptions and global delays and shortages on essential goods including electronics, food, fuel and medical supplies. Consumer demand is rising and the delays look set to worsen ahead of Christmas and continue into 2022.

The transportation and supply chain workers have kept global trade flowing throughout the pandemic, but it has taken a human toll. At the peak of the crew change crisis 400,000 seafarers were unable to leave their ships, with some seafarers working for as long as 18 months over their initial contracts. Flights have been restricted and aviation workers have faced the inconsistency of border, travel, restrictions, and vaccine restrictions/requirements. Additional and systemic stopping at road borders has meant truck drivers have been forced to wait, sometimes weeks, before being able to complete their journeys and return home.

Many of the workers are from the Philippines and India and only 20-25% have been vaccinated.

Written by Brian Wang,