Day of Seafarers – June 25th

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June 25th, IMO Day of the Seafarer

“Thank you, seafarers.” A simple sentence, a powerful acknowledgement.

Crew sea
















Gratitude is the theme June 25th as the International Maritime Organization marks the annual Day of the Seafarer by asking people around the globe to acknowledge their debt to the workers who serve as the heartbeat of the world’s economy.

The debt is a heavy one. International seafarers are the workers we rely on daily for food, clothes, gifts, gadgets and necessities of life. Every cup of coffee, every spoonful of sugar. Every cell phone. They ferry 90 per cent of the world’s trade – including the resources that drive Canada’s economy. And they do it at considerable cost to themselves.

On average, they work nine-month contracts in isolated floating workplaces, on increasingly rough oceans and too often for ruthless shipowners. They face daily dangers from crushing and burning and falls on their decks and in their engine rooms. Their mess halls are occasionally bare of food, their work gloves and boots often inadequate or lacking. At sea for months on end, they miss the births of their babies and the deaths of their parents.

Seafarers and fam














They are the forgotten face of global trade, and yet they are vital to the economies of Canada and of the world.

So it seems fitting that “Thank you, seafarers” is the theme of this year’s Day of the Seafarer.

The celebration has special meaning in Canada, where thousands of Canadians are at work guiding ships safely into and out of our harbours, catching fish, manning ferries, tugs, barges, fishing vessels, water taxis, SeaBuses and patrol boats. Most are unionized workers, represented by the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, Canadian Merchant Service Guild, BC Ferry and Marine Workers Union, Seafarers’ International Union – Canada or UNIFOR.

Crew on board foreign vessels in Canada are by and large represented by seafarers’ unions affiliated to the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF).

This year, the IMO asks that people everywhere show their appreciation to seafarers through social media on Twitter and Facebook postings.

You are invited to complete the sentence “Seafarers brought me…” with a word naming an object or something specific that came from offshore – and to post it with a photo, video and/or written message on the platform of your choice, using the social media hashtag #thankyouseafarers.

You can also voice your support on the IMO’s virtual wall at:

In Solidarity,

Mark Gordienko

Thank you Seafarer

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