Stella Maris has found itself providing support for seafarers stuck on board
vessels in the Port of Felixstowe during an eight-day strike by dock workers.
The container vessel George Washington
Bridge in Felixstowe was scheduled to leave port the day before the
strike started on 20 August, however, departure
was delayed and the seafarers remained on the vessel once the strike started on
Stella Maris chaplain Julian Wong had visited the
vessel on 19 August before the strike started and had left contact details.
vessel still stuck in port once the strike started the chaplain visited the
vessel and its crew again on 24 August.
transport for six seafarers. Three of them stopped off at the Seafarers' Centre
and later walked into town and I drove the other three into town to the post
office. They needed to exchange some currency and wanted to do a bit of
The extended stay the George Washington
Bridge provided an expected opportunity for one Filipino seafarer to
reunite with his brother, who lives in Nottingham, for the first time in seven
The brother had travelled to Felixstowe, hoping to
meet the seafarer. On 25 August Wong was able to drive the seafarer to a cafe
in town to meet his brother.
ongoing strike a lot of people’s attention is, understandably, focused on
operational and business matters. At Stella Maris we continue to focus on
the seafarers who live and work on board these ships,” Wong said.
The strike by 1,900 members of Union Unite is
scheduled for eight days from 21 – 28 August, however, the union has said the
strike will escalate unless Felixstowe Docks, run by Hutchison Ports, returns
to the table with an improve wage offer