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Severino Almeida Filho

news 24 May 2022

It is with sadness that the ITF reports the death of Severino Almeida, former president of Brazilian maritime officers’ union SINDMAR, former member of the ITF Executive Board, and former ITF Vice President of the Latin American region. Severino leaves a lasting legacy of a life spent fighting to improve the rights and working conditions of Brazilian seafarers. The ITF sends its deepest sympathies and condolences to his family, and to his many friends and comrades around the world.

Comment from Paddy Crumlin, ITF President and National Secretary of the Maritime Union of Australia:

“The ITF and the Maritime Union of Australia relay our deepest sympathies and condolences to Severino’s family, friends and comrades on his untimely passing. He was a trade union leader of great presence, intellect, commitment and labour values throughout his distinguished working lifetime.”

“He was a true internationalist. His enthusiasm, passion and tireless energy was always directed to the benefit of the working class in general, and seafarers and maritime workers in particular. He was a stanchion of strength to his members and his union. He understood the struggle for decent national and international conditions for seafarers was in part a commitment to the united front of action, and at times a robust reconciliation of trade union viewpoints.”

“I first met him in 1992 at the ILO in Geneva where we were prosecuting our campaign for an international convention for the protection of seafarers working in one of the most exploitative and deregulated industries in the world. His leadership and role there, as elsewhere, was critical to the long campaign for the seafarers bill of rights, the Maritime Labour Convention. We enjoyed a friendship that lasted.” 

“Charismatic with a self-deprecating sense of humour, he was unafraid to challenge any issue that he felt was not in the industrial, political and economic interests of his members or workers generally. He was widely respected and admired and will be greatly missed. Vale comrade Seve.”

Comment from Stephen Cotton, ITF General Secretary:

“Severino was a passionate defender of Brazilian Seafarers. Irrespective of whether it was a seafarer working on a bulk carrier or the oil and gas sector he always wanted the best possible terms and conditions and career opportunities for his members.”

“He was no fan of the TCC or the IBF, and he consistently challenged the policy purely with the intention of giving the seafarers the best possible standards. He always was consistent in his thinking and his advocacy.”

“He was a true man of his word and stuck to his principles throughout his long career in the ITF whether defending seafarers in the FPC or promoting the concerns of the Latin American region. Thank you for all the memories Severino, may you rest in peace.”

Comment from Edgar Diaz, ITF Latin America and the Caribbean Regional Secretary

“Severino was one of the most significant maritime trade union leaders in Brazil, and a tireless defender of workers’ rights, often with firm positions. He was part of the ITF Executive Board representing the Latin American region. We pay tribute and express our recognition to a union leader who knew how to guide with intelligence and skill in the resistance to the attacks on fair working conditions in maritime sector.”

Comment from David Heindel, ITF Seafarers’ Section Chair:

“Brother Severino was a principled labour leader and a good friend. He fought to preserve cabotage and the ITF’s policy on flags of convenience. He will be missed not only in Brazil but by seafarers across the globe.”