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Maritime Union Calls Out Global Shipping Safety

Maritime Union Calls Out Global Shipping Safety

A major maritime union is calling for stricter global shipping standards following the devastating collision between a cargo ship and the Francis Scott Key Bridge on Tuesday.

The Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association (MEBA) pointed a finger at corporate greed, claiming shipping companies prioritize profit over safety by using under-trained crews on ever-larger vessels.

“These tragedies are avoidable with a well-trained crew and adequate resources,” said MEBA Secretary Treasurer Roland Rexha. “But companies are slashing costs and putting their workforce in impossible situations.”

The accident, which claimed the lives of six construction workers and halted operations at one of America’s busiest ports, involved the ‘Dali,’ a 948-foot Singaporean-flagged cargo ship bound for Sri Lanka. The ship, with a crew of 22, had a history of incidents, including a previous collision and detention for mechanical issues.

Rexha criticized the lax safety standards and crew qualifications in countries like India, where most of the Dali’s crew originated. “Standards are dropping as crew sizes shrink and ships balloon in size,” he stated.

This incident underscores a troubling trend. A UN report shows cargo ship capacity has surged 155% since 2006, while major safety incidents have increased in recent years.

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The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the cause of the collision. Maersk, the company that chartered the Dali, has not yet commented on the MEBA’s accusations. However, in 2023, they were ordered to change their policy of discouraging employees from reporting safety concerns.

MMJ News Desk
Author: MMJ News Desk

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