An inspection took place on the ship in Gladstone on 24 July, after information that seafarers onboard had expired employment agreements and requested repatriation. ITF provided further assistance.
During the inspection, seafarers approached AMSA inspectors, claiming they had been underpaid. Evidence during AMSA’s inspection confirmed that crew were owed about AUD $42,000.
Crew were found to have duplicate seafarer employment agreements with a difference in wages between the two agreements of about 25%. They were being paid based on the agreement for the lower amount,
During the inspection, AMSA also discovered that the quantity and quality of food onboard was well below MLC standards. 'The galley and fridges were filthy and the ship had very poor hygiene practices overall', AMSA noted.
Those crew are now being repatriated after rightly refusing to continue working under such atrocious conditions.
AMSA Acting General Manager Operations Michael Drake said this constituted a serious breach of the Maritime Labour Convention which upheld the rights of seafarers to decent working conditions.
AMSA has banned 16 ships from Australian ports since 2014, the majority for failing to pay seafarers their wages on time and in full. Earlier this week we banned Agia Sofia for this and Fortune Genius and Xing Jing Hai were both banned in September 2019 for collectively owing their seafarers AUD $240,000,
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.
AMSA has received confirmation that the seafarers from TW Hamburg have now been paid their wages and have come ashore to be repatriated.
The ship has departed Gladstone and will not be permitted to approach or enter an Australian port until 29 July 2021.