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September 30, 2021

Global supply chain workers warn of a ‘system collapse’

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and other industry groups issued an open letter to leaders attending the United Nations General Assembly Wednesday warning of a “global transport system collapse” amid continued pandemic-related struggles.

“Global supply chains are beginning to buckle as two years’ worth of strain on transport workers take their toll,” the groups wrote. The International Air Transport Association (IATA), the International Road Transport Union (IRU), and the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) also signed the letter. Together they represent 65 million transport workers.

“All transport sectors are also seeing a shortage of workers, and expect more to leave as a result of the poor treatment millions have faced during the pandemic, putting the supply chain under greater threat,” the letter read.

Experts say the holiday season could exacerbate the current issues and fragility.

“The global supply chain is very fragile and depends as much on a seafarer [from the Philippines] as it does on a truck driver to deliver goods,” said Stephen Cotton, secretary-general of the ITF. “The time has come for heads of government to respond to these workers’ needs.”

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The workers who keep global supply chains moving are warning of a ‘system collapse’

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