Posted on May 22, 2019 by Ilias Kiritsis
The International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) has released details from current & ex-crew from Blumenthal vessels in regard to the German shipping company’s alleged exploitative working conditions.
The workers, who have requested anonymity in fear of company retaliation, have accused Blumenthal of withholding wages, forced overtime, discrimination and a lack of access to basic supplies like food & water.
“We are forced to work more than the normal working hours and overtime is not paid … engine ratings are forced to do mooring operations and if something bad happened, they will not compensate with the involved crew. A lot of unpaid extra jobs … They have fixed wages for us so even if we do a lot of overtime and extra jobs, we are paid the same amount monthly,” reads the ITF quote from a current Blumenthal employee.
Another seafarer working for Blumenthal complained about the lack of drinking water onboard the vessel “We have only one case water remaining and now the Captain proposes to us to drink tank water but that water even not good for washing.”
As a result of these allegations, on May the 20th ITF called on the German government and the maritime industry as a whole to condemn Blumenthal’s exploitation of its workers.
“Seafarers have described atrocious stories of exploitation and discrimination on Blumenthal vessels, practices that have no place in the maritime industry. We are talking here about violations of the fundamental rights of these seafarers. Their right to be paid for the work they do. Their right to feed themselves. Their right to freedom of association and union representation,” said ITF maritime coordinator, Jacqueline Smith in a statement.
ITF originally launched its operation against Blumenthal back in April, in an effort to audit the company’s fleet in various ports around the world and in doing so, determine the extent of workers’ rights violations aboard their vessels.
Image Courtesy of Marine Traffic