As a seafarer, we do appreciate ITF's care in this pandemic. But I do doubt it's a good way to call strike. As a responsible organization, they should assess the risk to society before the making such decision:
1. if all overdue seafarer refuse to work, ships will stop trade. Some vessel may drifting at high sea, channel, terminal and port anchorage. Will this create disaster to the whole world?
2. COVID-19 is spreading in the whole world. most of nation is still lockdown. Airline stopped. Even though government allow crew disembark from ship and majority crew disembarked from ship, how long do they need to wait for the flight? During their waiting period for the flight, who is to protect them from the virus? In case seafarers been infected, and this spread to seafaerers family, who is the one to pay for his family? ITF or SEafarer himself? This is irresponsible action.
3. could you image a VLCC carrying 2millions barrel oil onboard and the master/chief engineer/chief officer were on strike? Who will be blamed for the incident, ship owner, government or ITF?
At this critical time, the best way is cooperation. If ITF do care of the seafares, it's time to work with each government, Union nation, shipowners etc to set a proper procedure and materialize the policies. There were two serious issues to owner:
1. flight availability --- individual ship owner may not be afford to charter a flight for a few crew change. But if ITF can organize flight in main sea port, it will encourage ship owner to arrange crew change at major port. (it's a money matters. ITF has union fee to settle).
2. materialize policy for crew change --- only major port government involved as most crew change in major port only. Has ITF has any dialogue with them? US as a world most powerful country, stopped crew replacement for a few month. Has ITF talked to MR Trump and force him to accept seafarers transportation and issue Visa for India, Philipinos, Chinese and Russian?