FMC Commissioners Carl W. Bentzel and Daniel B. Maffei sent a letter to President Biden and other Administration officials reiterating the importance of vaccinating the maritime workforce.
They recommend that the maritime workforce "be given access to rapid testing in order to help minimize workplace disruption, given their critical role in moving medical supplies, personal protective equipment (PPE), and handling what is an unprecedented amount of consumer goods arriving at gateway ports."
"From Maine to Texas, the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) has reported 784 positive tests with 1,855 quarantines from March 2020 to January 25, 2021. During the same period, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) reported that 1,034 maritime workers contracted COVID-19 in California, Washington, and Oregon. These numbers continue to trend upward and show the risk to our Nation’s supply chain," they wrote.
In December, they also sent a letter to MARAD Administrator Adm. Mark Buzby and CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield, urging them to prioritize PPE, rapid testing supplies, and vaccines for the maritime workforce.