- A Liberian-flagged bulk carrier TW Hamburg is banned by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) for 12-months, from entering or using its ports.
- Wage exploitation has been cited as the reason for this stringent action against the bulk carrier.
- AMSA inspected the vessel in Gladstone on Friday, July 24 after a tip-off that the employment agreements of the seafarers onboard were expired.
- The ship has departed Gladstone and will not be permitted to approach or enter an Australian port until 29 July 2021.
A recent news report published by the Ship Technology brings to light the hardships the seafarers have been put to, onboard a Liberian-flagged bulk carrier. This has led to the banning of ship by AMSA.
Outcome of the inspection
AMSA inspected and found that seafarers were underpaid. Evidence from the investigation uncovered that the crew were to receive A$42,000 ($30,081).
The crew possessed a duplicate seafarer employment agreements which showed 25% wage difference. Whereas, the crew were paid based on the agreement, which quoted the lower amount.
“Taking financial advantage and mistreating seafarers in this way is nothing short of exploitation by people in powerful positions,” said AMSA Acting General Manager Operations Michael Drake.
Poor Quality of Food
The quantity and quality of the food given to the crew were below the Maritime Labour Convention standards.
The galley and fridges were reported to be filthy and the ship practised poor hygiene practices.
“Any ship that arrives in Australia under such conditions can expect the same treatment. We will not tolerate the exploitation of seafarers in our waters,” Drake added.
The crew of the TW Hamburg are now in the process of being repatriated.
AMSA’s strict measures
Since 2014, the AMSA has banned 16 ships from Australian ports, the majority for failing to pay seafarers their wages on time and in full.
Earlier this week we banned Agia Sofia for similar reasons. The MV Fortune Genius and Xing Jing Hai were both banned in September 2019 for collectively owing their seafarers AUD $240,000, according to Drake.
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Source: Ship Technology