A driver walks next to lorries parked on the M20 motorway towards Eurotunnel and the Port of Dover, as EU countries impose a travel ban from the UK following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Folkestone, Britain, December 21, 2020 Photograph:( Reuters )
Chiefs of transport industry have come together to urge the world leaders and the United Nations (UN) to make working conditions better and safe for the industry amid the coronavirus pandemic
While cases of coronavirus are declining all over the world, the economic losses faced by the pandemic seem to be adding up.
In addition to several other industries, the transport industry has urged global leaders and the United Nations (UN) to pay attention to their worsening situation.
IRU, the world road transport organisation, IATA, the International Air Transport Association, ICS, the International Chamber of Shipping, and ITF, the International Transport Workers' Federation came together to draft this letter and make an urgent plea on behalf of the whole transport industry.
"Our collective industries account for more than $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," the chiefs said in a joint letter.
As the coronavirus pandemic took over the world in the beginning of 2019, all kinds of transportation came to a halt. This has negatively impacted the industry and companies have had to bear huge amount of losses.
Calling for aid in these difficult times, the global transport chiefs have urged the UN to out an end to all travel bans and other Covid-related restrictions.
The joint open letter by the global transport chiefs have alleged world leaders of not offering them enough support in these difficult times, especially since it is the transport industry that has been putting their lives in risk to ensure timely delivery of medicines, PPE kits, masks and much more.
"Transport workers keep the world running and are vital for the free movement of products, including vaccines and PPE, but have been continually failed by governments and taken for granted by their officials," the letter reads.
The chiefs have asked for freedom of movement for transport workers and have urged the world leaders to ensure that they follow protocols that have been set up and motivated by international bodies.
Keeping their safety in mind, they have also requested governments to prioritise transport workers when it comes to Covid vaccinations.
"We ask that our transport workers are given priority to receive WHO recognised vaccines and heads of government work together to create globally harmonised, digital, mutually recognised vaccination certificate and processes for demonstrating health credentials (including vaccination status and COVID-19 test results), which are paramount to ensure transport workers can cross international borders," letter read.
The industry has blamed world leaders of putting more strain on the transport workers by engaging in a blame game and failing to take quality decisions.
"Heads of government have failed to listen, to end the blame-shifting within and between governments and take the decisive and coordinated action needed to resolve this crisis," the letter accuses.
They chiefs have also warned about an incoming massive delay in all sorts of transport deliveries as the consumer demand is alarming increasing and the trend is expected to get worse with Christmas right around the corner. This delay is expected to continue at least till 2022.
"It is of great concern that we are also seeing shortages of workers and expect more to leave our industries as a result of the poor treatment they have faced during the pandemic, putting the supply chain under greater threat," the chiefs warned.