I am ashamed to be an executive in the maritime industry!” said Frank Coles in a recent LinkedIn post.
This statement was in regard to his recent petition asking Joe Biden and Boris Johnson to prioritize seafarer travel.
The petition has surpassed its goal of 5,000 signatures (6,070 to be exact). So Coles is pleased, right?
The Coles controversy all started last month when maritime influencer Lena
Göthberg published the 165th episode of her popular Shipping Podcast, and the content shocked listeners. Her guest, the former CEO of Transas and Wallem Group Frank Coles, put forth a radical new idea: organizing a global seafarer strike.
The idea went viral, but rather than pushing for an immediate strike, Coles asked his thousands of social media followers to sign and share a simple seafarer travel petition. The petition asks world leaders to protect the right of seafarers to travel without onerous regulations for visas.
But rather than submit the petition, Coles has doubled his target from 5,000 signatures to 10,000 and has widened the scope to include the IMO.
“The IMO is the most ineffective UN body,” said Coles. “Their recent seafarer video (linked HERE) is stating the obvious. It’s diplomatic waffle. How have we come to this level of over-the-top treatment of seafarers? On top of dead crew not being landed, crew being forced to stay way over their contracts, etc etc etc.”
Regardless of your thoughts on Coles’ media tactics, his petition is picking up steam.