Wednesday, April 23, 2014

A Partial Solution to the Problems of a Filthy and Dangerous Freighter

Arrest Postponed as ITF Steps in to Assist Crew
Shipping News Feature

UK – Further to our recent story regarding the stranded crew of the MV Munzur, the Panamanian flagged, Turkish owned freighter which has been detained by the UK authorities over health and safety matters, comes some good news thanks to the efforts of the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) who had threatened the ship with arrest if the owners failed to pay outstanding wages.

An ITF statement says it is ‘able to report progress in the case of the filthy and unsafe vessel Munzur, which is detained in Fowey in Cornwall, United Kingdom. Following the passing of a deadline for action by the owners to pay and repatriate its crew, the company has now agreed to pay all owed wages and help the seafarers home. The ITF has accordingly decided to delay the legal arrest of the vessel on behalf of its crew'. The ITF also believes that as well as paying the owed money the company is likely to sign an ITF agreement which will hold them to providing decent pay and conditions for seafarers on the Munzur in future. Speaking from the Munzur, ITF inspector Darren Procter reported:

“Following our legal action on behalf of the crew, the company is now promising to pay them all the money it owes them, and to repatriate them. While that money is transferred they have demonstrated good faith by putting food on board, along with two much-needed washing machines. If all that is owed is paid to the crew we will cease the arrest of the vessel. If the crew don’t get what they deserve we will resume that arrest.”

It is to be hoped that following ratification next month of the measures appertaining to this type of situation voted through in Geneva recently at a meeting of the International Labour Organization (ILO) amending the Maritime Labour Convention (2006) (MLC) will bring an end to the sight of badly equipped, dirty and dangerous vessels using the excuse of a flag of convenience to avoid providing safe and decent conditions for seafarers.