A dispute over the alleged mistreatment of crew on board a ship which loaded wheat in the Port of Newcastle this week has sparked a worldwide campaign.
The International Transport Workers Federation (ITWF) says it is investigating claims by the crew on board the Columbia [IMO 9423530] that they have been denied access to medical treatment and are being underpaid.
The ship, which left for Bangladesh on Wednesday, is owned by German firm Orion Bulkers.
ITWF national coordinator Dean Summers says all of the company’s bulk carriers will now come under scrutiny.
“This will spark off a worldwide campaign against Orion Bulkers,” he said.
“We’ve heard the comments of the Orion bulkers – we’ve heard the comments of their charterers, Oldendorf Charterers, based in Melbourne.
“They say the rights of the seafarers to access medical treatment when they’re hurt on ship is a minor issue and an issue that will go away as long as they keep on pushing through.”