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Australia detains ship after ITF raises crew concerns

5 April 2019

The Australian authorities have detained a German-owned bulk carrier after the ITF raised the crew’s concerns about conditions on board.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) inspected the Liberia-flagged Anna-Elisabeth in the Port Kembla coal terminal after the ITF and Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) alerted it to complaints from the crew of insufficient food, bullying and the denial of shore leave for two months. The ITF also queried the crew’s qualifications to take the ship to sea safely.
 
The AMSA inspection found that working conditions on board did not comply with the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) 2006. It confirmed that the vessel was not crewed in accordance with the minimum safe manning, there were no seafarer employment agreements, the crew had not been granted access to shore leave and there were insufficient food provisions for the length of the journey.

Commenting on the German owners Johann MK Blumenthal, ITF’s national coordinator in Australia, Dean Summers, said: “We are asking the Australian government to send an urgent alert around the shipping world to audit and detain Blumenthal ships wherever breaches to human rights and workers’ rights are found … the ITF will continue to inspect their vessels in ports around the world to ensure that more than 700 seafarers across their fleet aren’t subjected to these exploitative practices.”

Allan Schwartz from AMSA said: “Seafarers live difficult lives, often spending many months at sea away from their families and friends. Any vessel which is found to be in breach of the MLC or other Australian standards will be detained by AMSA, and repeat offenders risk being banned from Australian waters.”



 
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