Sad news this morning as the outlook turns grim for the cargo ship missing in a hurricane near the Bahamas with 33 crew aboard. It’s a tough reminder of the debt we owe the workers who move our goods and on whose backs we build our trade and prosperity.
All of us go to our jobs in the morning expecting to return safely. Ships are already more dangerous than the average industrial workplace. For seafarers, the ultimate danger is that their workplace itself will be lost, battered by seas and weather.
Our thoughts are with the American and Polish crew of the containership El Faro, a US-flagged vessel last known to be battling 150 mph gusts, 30-foot waves and as much as 25 inches of rain — and with the search crew scouring the seas for any sign of them. All of the missing seafarers are members of ITF affiliates: the Marine Engineers Beneficial Association, the Masters, Mates and Pilots, and the Seafarers International Union. We are all brothers and sisters of the sea and our hearts go out to the families of the missing men and women.