They want early end to impasse over C-19 vaccination and Certificate of Proficiency

More than 8,000 Bangladeshi mariners (Sea fearers) are facing the risk of losing existing jobs and also the prospect of new jobs in foreign shipping companies and employment market in this sector due to unnecessary dilemma in vaccination and ‘Certificate of Proficiency’ (COP) from the authorities concerned.

Blaming the Department of Shipping (DoS) for the sufferings, Bangladesh Merchant Marine Officers’ Association (BMMOA) at a press conference held in Dhaka on Saturday demanded the government’s interference to solve their problems, save jobs of the mariners earning US$470m every year and the marine employment market abroad.

BMMOA Vice President Mahbubur Rahman presented the keynote in the programme while its President Mohammad Anam Chowdhury, Vice President Golam Mohiuddin Qadri, Treasurer Ali Hossain, executive committee members Kazi Abu Sayeed and Aungan Das were present.

In the programme, the merchant mariners demanded Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s intervention to solve the problems prevailing in the sector immediately to save them and their families.

They claimed that due to the unnecessary dilemma in getting vaccine and COPs, more than 8,000 merchant marine officers who have registered for vaccination are not getting jobs. Some of the working mariners are in fear of losing their jobs due to the dilemma in vaccination.

They have urged the government for operating at least two Covid-19 hospitals in Dhaka and Chattogram for treatment and vaccination for the marine professionals. Otherwise, the job market for Bangladeshi mariners will be decreased.

In the press conference, the BMMOA leaders urged the government for introducing Rapid RT-PCR and antigen test system at all seaports and airports, so that the mariners can get tested before travelling to their workplaces.
They also demanded introducing electronic travel pass (ETP) through the Foreign Ministry for the seafarers.