THE head of the German Seamen’s Mission in Hong Kong has slammed shipowners for paying lip service to supporting seafarers and warned that if funds are not more forthcoming, the mission may have to shut down.
The Reverend Martina Platte, port chaplain for the mission, said shipping companies had been “really reluctant” to come forward with monetary support to keep the centre operating.
“Of course they all say they support [seafarers],” she said. “But when it comes to the terms, they say ‘sorry, we had a bad year’ and other excuses.”
If shipping companies keep doing like that, they will eventually head for a situation where seafarers will become “non-renewable resources”. Then they will reap what they are sowing now — with dire consequences for the entire global trade, sooner or later.