The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) says Australia is experiencing economic carnage from clogged ports as a result of rapidly worsening crew change crisis around its coasts.
AMSA announced it has received a large number of MLC-related complaints after its late-June marine notice on the maximum period of shipboard service for seafarers during COVID-19 pandemic.
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) banned the Liberian-flagged bulk carrier TW Hamburg from Australian ports for 12 months, after finding evidence that the crew was underpaid.
AMSA informs that travel restrictions and quarantine measures which have been implemented worldwide to help limit the spread of COVID-19 are beginning to impact seafarer working conditions.
Seafarers onboard ships entering Australian ports, will from now on experience a new initiative called “Seafarer Connect”. Specifically, the system will offer free WiFi signal and internet access to every seafarer visiting Australia. For the records, the initiative was first launched in Sydney, during a meeting of the International Transport Workers’ Federation.
The Mariner’s Handbook for Australian Waters (AHP20), launched by the Australian Hydrographic Office, provides information that helps vessels operate safely and according to the relevant maritime rules and regulations covering operations in Australian waters, as well as providing advice on emergency contacts and where additional information may be found to meet particular circumstances.
According to the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) thousands of international transport (ITF) workers will participate in a global rally outside Australian embassies, as part of a global day action to support Australian seafarers and demand a better future for the Australian domestic shipping.
Australian authorities detained the Liberian-registered bulk carrier ‘Anna-Elisabeth’ after crew onboard the vessel complained of insufficient food, bullying aboard the vessel and denial of shore leave. ITF received the complaints from onboard the ship berthed at the Port Kembla Coal Terminal on 25 March.
Maritime unions in Canada are supporting colleagues in Australia that were sacked after an Australian shipping company decided to replace them with foreign crew on flag of convenience vessels and employed them on lower pay, with poorer conditions. The Maritime Union of Australia called the Australian government to bring in legislation to protect Australian maritime jobs.
The latest review of skills and capacity for Australian seafarers has concluded that more than 560 new workers will be needed in the next four years. These seafarers will have to be experts beyond standard qualifications. Maritime Industry Australia warns that in spite of expected increases in demand for seafaring skills, there is no increase in training options for new workers.
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