ITF condemns assault on one of its inspectors

An inspector for the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) was reported as having been physically assaulted by a ship’s master “in an unprecedented attack which the Federation says must be condemned”.

The assault happened onboard a vessel which was being investigated by the Inspectorate of the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) for failing to comply with safety regulations, and for apparent irregularities in crew pay and conditions.

The ITF said that “the company is a well-known European shipowner, with their vessel flagged to landlocked Luxembourg.

ITF Inspectorate Coordinator Steve Trowsdale said that the ITF would not be releasing the name of the inspector to protect their privacy, nor would it be releasing further details of the incident, as the Federation was considering its options for pursuing matters via legal avenues. The ITF has also chosen to withhold the name of the Master, the vessel, and the company at the centre of the assault case, for the time being.

Trowsdale said that “the ITF strongly condemns what has happened here: a  physical assault against an ITF inspector who was just trying to do their job,”

Trowsdale said the ITF’s 134 inspectors, coordinators, and union contacts “do outstanding work” daily defending the rights of seafarers, helping thousands of seafarers every year. “But” he said, “our inspectors are not always welcomed with open arms by a shipowner or their representative on board – particularly if they have something to hide.”

Since the unnamed inspector was attacked earlier this year, the ITF has launched a review into the training and support it offers to inspectorate officials.