The crew of a Panama-flagged ship are enduring conditions that are close to slavery, according to seafarers’ Union Nautilus International, The union claims that seafarers on board the 1,596 gross tonnage general cargo ship Seccadi, detained in the UK port of Runcorn, have been suffering atrocious conditions and have been paid wages as low as US$O.85 an hour.
Wages identified on the contracts for the turkish and Indian crew of the ship were below the international Labour Organization minimums and ranged between US$250 and US$700 per month for Able Seamen. The union claimed the crew were owed almost US$43,000 in back pay.
NautiIus International /International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) ship inspector Tommy Molloy said there was neither fresh fruit, vegetables nor’ meat on board the ship and there was a Cockroach infestation in the Galley. He said “When’ Crew are not paid for more than two months, not repatriated and do not have the basic food requirements to sustain a healthy diet, then they, are considered to have been abandoned
Mr. Moloy said the crew had been, promised owed wages when the ship called at Rijeka, Croatia, in May but nothing had been forthcoming. He said the deficiencies amounted to a clear breach of the Maritime Labor Convention (2006 MLC 2006) and that the owners had two other ships under detention in UK ports with similar problems.
He commented: “Despite the MLC 2006 we still see too many owners operating in this way. ” He Added . °Human beings — in the form of crew – seem to be nothing more than a necessary evil to them. Eighty-five cents per hour — when lucky enough to get paid — and no food or repatriation doesn’t seen, Like too many “levels up from slavery to me.