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30/04/2020 01:25 PM

Ships in NSW sound off in support of the world’s workers

Ships across the ports of NSW made a deafening show of support for seafarers in May as they blasted their horns for International Worker’s 

Almost 30 large commercial trading vessels, as well as many of the ports' regular working vessels, joined ships around the world on 1 May to make noise in solidarity for seafarers and other workers. 

There are over 1.6 million seafarers globally and their work helps keep countries supplied with food, fuel, goods and other essential supplies, including vital medical equipment. As the world locks down in response to Covid-19, these seafarers continue their vital service to the world’s populations.

In recognition of their work, Port Authority of New South Wales agreed to provide special clearance to commercial vessels in NSW ports wishing to sound their horns in a symbolic show of support.

While ships horns are usually only used in accordance with internationally agreed rules to ensure safe navigation and prevent collisions, on International Workers Day they were used to remind us of the immeasurable contribution seafarers make to all our lives.

Image: the world's 1.6 million seafarers help supply the globe with essential goods 

Shipping plays a fundamental role in the global supply chain and, as an island nation, Australia’s ports provide our gateways to the world. Around 1,600 million tonnes of cargo and $400 billion in trade passes through Australia’s ports each year, while 99 per cent of all Australian imports and exports arrive by sea.

With around 6,000 commercial vessels visiting each year, New South Wales is home to some of most economically significant ports in Australia.

International Workers Day, also known as Workers Day, May Day and Labour Day, is an annual event that acknowledges and celebrates the contribution made by workers worldwide.

This year, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and its global network of national member associations, along with the 215 seafarer unions of the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) called on the world’s ships and seafarers to join in with the celebrations.

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