The International Transport Workers’ Federation is embracing social networking sites including Twitter and Facebook in its efforts to raise awareness about the global threat of piracy.
As of July 1, the ITF’s petition against piracy, www.endpiracypetition.org had amassed 65,000 signatures. The intention is to collect 500,000 signatures by September.
The ITF has devised a communications strategy under which affiliate trade unions Nautilus and the National Union of Seafarers of India have sent 21,000 and 6,000 e-mails respectively to maritime professionals. Twitter and blogging sites have also been used to raise awareness and the Seafarer’s International Union has created a Facebook page promoting the campaign.
The petition is supported by the Asian Shipowners’ Forum, European Community Shipowners’ Associations, the International Christian Maritime Association and International Committee for Seafarers’ Welfare.
In addition to online efforts, the ITF has also presented the petition to the International Trade Union Confederation and the World Maritime University. The International Federation of Shipmasters’ Associations promoted the campaign during the recent STCW conference in Manila.
Shipping companies whose staff have signed the petition include Fleet Management Limited (over 300 signatures), Marlow Navigation (over 800 signatures), Maersk, V.Ships, BP (over 100 signatures),Hyundai Merchant Marine, Exmar, P&O, Thome, Teekay, Wallem and Nippon Yusen Kaisha.