Posted on March 27, 2019 by Ilias Kiritsis
Liberian-flagged bulk carrier Anna-Elisabeth has been detained by Australian Maritime Authorities following a report by the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF).
Some of the complaints that ITF received from the crew suggested food shortages, bullying and denial of shore leave.
The vessel underwent an inspection by the ITF while berthed at the Port Kembla Coal Terminal in Australia.
National coordinator for the ITF, Dean Summers concluded that the conditions aboard the ship substantiated the crew’s claims.
“Meat and fish were freezer burnt and fresh provisions were very low, certainly not enough to get 17 seafarers to Singapore. It is our suspicion that this company is under intense financial pressure and have sought to save money wherever they can. The master confirmed the food ration was AUD 7 per day for all meals,” said Summers in a statement.
The ITF then proceeded to contact the Australian Maritime Safety Authority and requested that conduct an inspection of the vessel, citing breaches in shore leave, lack of provisions, bullying and concern about minimum safe manning and crew qualifications as key issues.
Following an AMSA inspection on the 26th of March, the vessel was officially detained under the Maritime Labour Convention.
While the vessel is operating under a Liberian flag, the vessels belong to the German company Blumenthal, who are notoriously anti-union and have built a reputation for confrontation.
“We are asking the Australian Government to send an urgent alert around the shipping world to audit and detain Blumenthal ships wherever breaches to human rights and workers’ rights are found. Clearly, the only thing these belly robbers understand is cost and profit.
"These kinds of breaches can only be systemic to this company and is certainly symptomatic of the FoC system that allows for exploitation and labour abuse of international seafarers.
“In recent weeks, ITF inspectors in Europe have uncovered other cases of food shortages on Blumenthal vessels. So right now, Blumenthal is a priority for the ITF, and we will continue to inspect their vessels in ports around the world to ensure that more than 700 seafarers across their fleet aren’t subjected to these exploitative practices,” said Summers in a statement.