US Maritime Union Expresses Concern Over Safety in Maritime Industry

A maritime labor union, Meba, warns of profit prioritization over safety in the maritime industry after a cargo ship collided with a bridge in Baltimore. Secretary-treasurer Roland Rexha calls for enhanced safety measures and global standards to prevent such incidents, highlighting concerns over crew training and vessel size.
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The Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association (Meba) has raised concerns about the prioritization of profit over safety in the maritime industry following a cargo ship collision with the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore. Meba’s secretary-treasurer, Roland Rexha, emphasized the need for enhanced safety measures and global standards to prevent such incidents, attributing them to companies prioritizing profit margins over safety protocols. The recent accidents, including the Baltimore bridge collapse and a train derailment in Ohio, highlight the detrimental effects of corporate greed in the maritime sector.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is investigating the collision involving the Dali, a cargo vessel sailing under the Singapore flag bound for Sri Lanka. Rexha pointed out disparities in safety standards and crew qualifications between the US and other jurisdictions, with foreign vessels often adhering to looser safety standards and lacking adequate training compared to US counterparts. The increase in cargo ship capacity and safety incidents raises questions about safety prioritization in a rapidly expanding industry.

Maersk, the charterer of the Dali, has been contacted for comment regarding the incident. The Danish shipping conglomerate faced scrutiny in 2023 for alleged retaliation against employees who raised safety concerns. As the maritime industry grapples with safety concerns, there is a growing need for concerted efforts to prioritize crew safety and uphold rigorous standards in global shipping operations.

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