YEAR OF THE SEAFARER | Alleged mistreatment of boat crew sparks global campaign

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.”

Source: Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Additional reading

ITF — Reports of legal threat against pursuit of crew claims in New South Wales

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “YEAR OF THE SEAFARER | Alleged mistreatment of boat crew sparks global campaign

  1. Champika Perera

    yes I have seen this very clearley. I worked for them recently on a Orion Bulkers owned Liberian Registered vessel and crew were dinied for medical treatment by the Europian Masters. Also not given cash advancess in port as per the liberian Contract. It is only given once and not more than US$.500 per month, That is also been deducted for telephone bills and other expensess. Your joining month you are not allowed to get any cash advancess. Also signing off month you will get only US$. 500 – telephone and cslop. Your balance ages takes about 2 to 4 months as it goes through the Sri lankan crewing office which they keep it for few months. Allotments are delayed every month (takes 2 months to 4 months)

  2. Champika Perera

    Also our work hours are more than 14 hours and some instance we miss our tea break or meal times without pay. No hot meals on board as no hot preess or microwave to heat the food. Officeres also sent for hatch cleaning. rest hours are marked in a computer and ask the crew by force to sign a copy end of the month. Ships first aid boxes are empty. During the holidays as per contract is not given and sometimes marked as 19 hours working hours. I have been called for 30 minutes during my rest times to relief the other crew for there meal times. 3rd officer (If the 3rd officer is a filipino or a Sri alnkan only) has to relief chief officer for Dinner for 30 to 40 minutes. These relief times are not marked in book. Bosun contrils the crew as he is a representative or a relative of the crewing office in orion Office in Colombo Sri lanka and crew cannot do any thing. Some times 3rd officer sleeps on the bridge as he had been working on deck as a AB during the day. there is no night watchman to do the watch on the bridge but officers are instructed to write in the log for night watchman names and watch time. But most of the time it’s only the duty officer alone who sleeps with his alarm while drunk. It;s a very dangerous situation. Some one has to do some thing and soon there will be a desaster.

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