"The ITF is
the last fortress against globalisation" said Cardinal Ersilio Tonini,
speaking on board the GLOBAL MARINER in Ravenna. The Ravenna-born
Cardinal, a tireless campaigner for human and civil rights, has now
retired to his hometown. He was guest of honour at a round table
discussion on the human aspects of seafaring.
told his audience that he had been moved by what he saw in the
exhibition, and he spoke with passion about the importance of the ITF's
work. Cardinal Tonini was also highly critical of the global market and
its driving forces saying "The market alone governs… leading to a world
without law, with space only for suffering." He added "Competition is
the new morality. I condemn it, because it brings more profit for
companies, but more suffering for workers the world over."
Secretary David Cockroft, who had welcomed the Cardinal on board ship,
also took part in the round table. Cockroft pointed to one of the worst
cases of a company putting profit before the safety and well-being of
its workers. Of Greek ship owner Panagis Zissimatos he said "We want
that man in jail". He added, "Too many have already suffered, he must
not be allowed to carry on his dishonest business."
has caused hardship and difficulty for many seafarers, and continues
his commercial operations from Switzerland. Only the day before the
round table, the ITF had published an advert in the international
maritime press asking for information that would help bring Zissimatos
the port of Ravenna, since two ships owned by his collapsed company
Adriatic Tankers were arrested here at the end of 1995. Local union
activists know only too well how long these cases have taken to solve.
The crew from one ship, RAINBOW
II has now received about 70 percent of the money owed. In the case of
the other, STAINLESS PRIDE, the crew are still waiting four years on.
Cockroft and the Cardinal was a list of important speakers including Dr
Pier Paolo Baretta - Assistant General Secretary CISL, Captain Remo di
Fiore - National Secretary of FIT CISL's maritime sector, Monsignior
Costantino Stefanetti - Director of Stella Maris in Italy and Dr Guido Ceroni, General Secretary of the Port
Calingasan, Labour Attache from the Filipino Consulate in Milan had
also been invited to take part. She took the opportunity to speak of
how much the Filipino Government was doing to promote their seafarers
and she said that the government recognised that they make "a valuable
contribution" to the national economy. (for more on the Philippines see
also MANILA report)
representatives of the Catholic church in Italy were on board the
following day, at the invitation of Giorgio Ministrini of the Stella
Maris in Ravenna. Bishop Luigi Amaducci concelebrated mass with
Monsignor Costantino Stefanetti. The mass was said in memory of Bruno
De Bonis, who was a local ITF inspector and former Head of the Special
Seafarers' Department of the ITF.
the mass was his widow Antonietta and her daughter Barbara. The day
before, David Cockroft had also paid tribute to Bruno, both as a friend
and highly valued colleague,
still sorely missed.
in thick fog early on the morning of the 12th January. The fog was so
dense that all ship movements had been suspended, and the ship was
forced to wait at anchor. It lifted gradually during the morning,
allowing the ship to enter port a few hours late, but the bitterly cold
arrival a large group of journalists gathered on board for a short
press conference with the Captain of the GLOBAL MARINER , Captain Remo de Fiore and
Giovanni Olivieri, ITF coordinator in Italy and inspector in Ravenna.
afternoon the representatives from the port, immigration, port state
control and harbour authorities had a tour of the exhibition. They were
then invited to have a piece of a special GLOBAL MARINER cake
and a celebratory drink.
following morning dawned equally cold, but fortunately clear. Hundreds
of students and maritime cadets visited the ship and also took part in
a public discussion on "Employment at sea in a global economy". The key
speakers were Captain Remo di Fiore and Filippo Allegra, Director
General of Fedarlinea, the public owners' association.
groups visited on Friday, and despite the unusually cold temperatures,
by the time the ship closed to the public on Sunday at noon, over 3000
people had been on board. This brings the running total to 715,736."
On the day
of departure, more thick fog in the morning threatened further delay.
However, in the early afternoon the sun broke through and the GLOBAL
MARINER left Ravenna for Livorno on
Italy's west coast at 1600 on the 16th January, exactly on schedule.