Posted on September 13, 2019 by Ilias Kiritsis
Australia’s Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has detained a second Chinese vessel after it was discovered that the company owed its crew over $100,000 in unpaid wages.
The Hong Kong-flagged Bulk Carrier, MV XING JING HAI, was detained by AMSA on September the 11th.
The vessel had been charged with transporting cargo to the Australian port of Brisbane, but after the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) received a report of unpaid wages on the vessel, AMSA boarded the ship in order to investigate the claims.
"It's the third case of wage theft and exploitation of foreign seafarers transporting goods to and from Australia that has been identified in the past week," ITF’s Matt Purcell said during a statement to the press.
According to initial reports, the crew of the bulker hasn’t been paid since June and is owed over $100,000 in wages.
Following the detaining of the Xing Jing Hai, ITF has requested that another vessel owned by the same company to be audited, specifically, the MV Xing Ning Hai.
"All these vessels have been contracted to carry goods and materials for major businesses - the Xing Jing Hai is in Brisbane to deliver clinker to Cement Australia, while the Xing Ning Hai is in Port Kembla to carry steel from Bluescope," continues to read the statement from Mr Purcell.
Overall, during the last few weeks, ITF auditors in Australia have discovered that at least three vessels, were guilty of a series of Maritime Labour Convention breaches, in addition to not paying for their crew.
The combined total is in excess of $250,000 and showcases the need to further protect the rights of the seafarers that transit through Australian ports.