The President of the International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) today announced that he will hold high level talks to discuss ways to help victims of the tragic earthquake and subsequent tsunami which devastated parts of Japan in recent days.
ITF President Paddy Crumlin will meet with ITF General Secretary David Cockroft in London this week to discuss what can be done.
"I will be holding urgent meetings this week regarding ITF relief funding and other avenues of support to look at ways we can assist all transport workers, their families and others affected by this tragedy," Mr Crumlin said.
"I understand the magnitude of the huge task ahead to rebuild those parts of Japan which have been affected and these talks will be my highest priority.
"ITF members are understandably very concerned for the welfare of those affected by the disaster; the images of the devastation of Sendai port are both shocking and horrific, as are those from surrounding areas.
"On behalf of the ITF, I would like to express my sincere condolences to the Japanese people following the recent earthquake and subsequent tsunami.
"It was just last month that many Japanese ITF affiliates relayed their deep sympathy and support for the residents affected by the Queensland cyclone and flooding.
"The President of All Japan Dockworkers Union Mr Itoya and General Secretary Mr Watanabe pledged money to me personally in Tokyo for the appeal.
"The generosity and support of Japanese transport workers, dockworkers and seafarers and their expressions of sympathy and support for victims of the Queensland disaster underscores not only their strength of character but also the values of the international union movement.
"As unions representing transport workers we know all too well the dangers of our industries and this has been greatly compounded by this natural disaster.
"I would like to pass on our members' best wishes at this difficult time and our determination to find all avenues of meaningful support."