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Bulk vessel detained in Australia for unpaid wages

Bulk vessel detained in Australia for unpaid wages


International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) inspectors found a case of wage theft and human rights violations on a coal ship docked in the Australian port of Newcastle, with the crew deprived of their legal right to shore leave and robbed of $75,000 in wages owed to them over three months. As a result of the ITF inspectors' findings, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has detained the vessel in Newcastle until these violations are rectified.


The ITF's Australian coordinator, Ian Bray, said the vessel, the Costanza, was being held at Cooragang Terminal 10, operated by coal loading company Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group (NCIG). Although the $75,000 in unpaid wages by August, September and October was covered by a 20 per cent shortfall for a crew of about 21, the ship was also in breach of the maritime Labour Convention, which forces owners to allow shore leave and facilitate crew replacement.


ITF inspector Dan Crumlin, who boarded the Costanza and spoke to the crew, explained that the corona-era restrictions that prevented sailors from disembarking in many countries during the COVID-19 had been lifted in Australia nearly three months ago.


"We understand that there are people on board who have not disembarked for 10 and a half months," Mr Crumlin said.

The Costanza will remain in Newcastle until the crew is paid and replaced by a replacement crew bound for Hitachi Central Port in Japan. The bulk vessel is owned by Orient Line from Japan, according to VesselsValue. 


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