Following a series of incidents where crews’ rights have been abused, a seafarer manning agency in the Philippines is close to being red listed by the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF).
o remind, ITF launched its directory of agents at the beginning of August as part of its ITFShipBeSure.org initiative to help seafarers find safe, secure jobs. In the Philippines, a seafarer must register with a manning agent to work overseas. The agent is responsible for ensuring a seafarer’s earnings make it back to their family.
To help seafarers avoid the rogue agents, the ITFShipBeSure.org website ranks agents as green (good to go) or red (best to avoid). As informed, Able Maritime Seafarers Inc failed to protect seafarers following a run of horror stories.
As a result, the agency is coming close to being red listed by the ITF. This censure will come with a message from the ITF’s network of 134 inspectors and 670 affiliated unions across more than 150 countries: steer clear of ‘Able Maritime’.
“In three entirely different parts of the world, Filipino seafarers have found themselves being paid much less than they signed up for in ‘Able Maritime’ contracts,”… as ITF Inspectorate Coordinator Steve Trowsdale said.
“These seafarers have been trapped into working conditions well below the minimum we would expect and, in some cases, below what national and international laws allow. Manning agencies have duty to protect the seafarers that they place in work, and to get them home if conditions prove unsatisfactory or the jobs were advertised in a misleading way. At least three times in as many months, ‘Able Maritime’ has fallen well short.”.. he added.
Our inspectors have put in countless hours investigating the conduct of ‘Able Maritime’, trying their best to get a fair deal for the seafarers that Able Maritime happily took money from. It has been a struggle simply to get the seafarers home at the end of some of the most awful contracted periods I’ve ever seen.
“Until agencies like Able Maritime Seafarers Inc step up to their responsibilities, and until regulators like POAE do their job regardless of whether the television cameras are rolling: then seafarers will not be safe and respected working abroad.
“At least now their silence will be recorded with their inglorious debut as our first red listed company. At least now we can warn seafarers: steer clear of ‘Able Maritime’, avoid this company,”...Steve Trowsdale concluded.