The port community of Vigo creates the first welfare committee of Galicia to improve the quality of life of the people of the sea.

Feb 1, 2023, 5:00:00 PM

The port community of Vigo creates the first welfare committee of Galicia to improve the quality of life of the people of the sea.

A total of 18 institutions of very diverse nature signed this morning the regulations of the Welfare Committee of the Port of Vigo, the first in Galicia. An organism born under the umbrella of the sustainable blue economy strategy led by the Port Authority since 2016 and based on three fundamental pillars: economic, environmental and, above all, social sustainability.

As highlighted by the top port official, Jesús Vázquez Almuiña, during the presentation of the Committee, in which he was accompanied by the conselleira do Mar, Rosa Quintana, and by the rest of the signatories, the Port of Vigo is a national leader in sustainability and innovation.

"At the Port of Vigo we believe in social sustainability and the Welfare Committee is one more step towards this new reality", he remarked, while affirming that "Vigo welcomes seafarers as a big family, where nobody is an outsider".

Multidisciplinary character

The new Welfare Committee is the first to be set up in Galicia and on the Atlantic and Cantabrian coast. It is made up of 18 institutions that give it a multidisciplinary character and provide a diversity of visions. They are, in the words of Vázquez Almuiña, "key players" in the maritime world who know first hand the sector and its needs. In addition, social and business groups, institutions and State Security Forces and Corps are represented.

The Committee is based on dialogue and active listening of all its members. An exercise that brings together different points of view and sensitivities, but with a single objective: "to improve the quality of life of the people who work and visit the Port of Vigo" and that has proven to be the best system of participation for the detection of shortcomings and the search for solutions in a collaborative manner.

In this context, the port president wanted to publicly thank the "work and effort" of the various groups that make up the Committee, such as Stella Maris "which is the heart of the Committee", the non-governmental organization for the reception and care of refugees and migrants ACCEM, the International Trade Union Federation (ITF) which represents the interests of seafarers around the world, the Cooperative of Shipowners of the Port of Vigo (ARVI), Fundamar, the Association of shipowners of the Port of Vigo (ARVI); Fundamar, the Association of Shipping and Stevedoring Companies of the province of Pontevedra (ACOESPO), the Association of Pilots of the Port and Ría de Vigo, the Galician Red Cross and the Álvaro Cunqueiro Hospital, "fundamental" in providing support and services to seafarers, as well as the Instituto Social de la Marina (ISM), Capitanía Marítima, Salvamento Marítimo, and the State Security Forces and Corps, in addition to the Port Authority of Vigo and the Consellería do Mar, which has accepted the Honorary Presidency of this Committee.

According to him, "Vigo is the fishing port of reference in Europe and this confers different needs to those of a commercial port" and, in this sense, the Welfare Committee is born to "give support" to the crews that spend long stays in port and whose needs can go from health, social and shelter, help in administrative procedures, offer them a place to communicate with their family, etc.

In this context, the sector highlighted the importance of creating similar bodies in all the ports of the world where Galician and Vigo ships work and fish, for which both Vázquez Almuiña and Quintana emphasized that they will propose it within the network of Blue Ports of the FAO, where Vigo is an example of Blue Port worldwide.

Example of social responsibility

For her part, the conselleira do Mar, Rosa Quintana, put the Port of Vigo as an "example of social responsibility" by betting on the creation of a Port Welfare Commission "that places the city at the forefront of port activity". "We have a common concern which is to bring the importance of the port to our society, which coexists with its activity and to which we must guarantee its welfare," he stressed.

In this line, the holder of the Sea pointed out that the Port Welfare Commission "is a forum for internal communication and external collaboration with which to influence the environment in a positive way, with the aim of building a powerful structure with which to stimulate the confidence of the entire community." This, he added, makes the Port of Vigo a figure that promotes relations between the port and the city, "with the aim of coexistence and dialogue between stakeholders".

A friendly and healthy port

In the last two years since the first contact, many activities have been carried out along these lines, and the creation of the Port of Vigo Welfare Committee is in itself "the biggest milestone". "From the Port Authority of Vigo we are working to be a friendly and healthy Port" and an example of this are the 32 defibrillators, both fixed and mobile, installed by companies and institutions in different port areas. Likewise, 65% of the workers of the Port Authority of Vigo have already been trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation, thanks to the close collaboration that the institution presided by Vázquez Almuiña maintains with the Red Cross and the Álvaro Cunqueiro Hospital.

 

 

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