Crew on board the Hong Kong flagged vessel Mount Owen loading gypsum in the Port of Thevenard, South Australia threaten strike action unless their US$37,000 leave payments are made before the ship returns to China.
The 23 seafarers threatened to stop the ship sailing from Australia but have now agreed to take the shipment to New Zealand, the last port of call before five crew leave the vessel and it returns to China.
ITF assistant co-ordinator Matt Purcell boarded the ship yesterday with the ITF blitz team and spoke to the crew who asked for help.
"They said they wanted all leave paid when the ship arrived in Auckland, or they won't get it at all. They are getting ripped off. At first they were going to strike here. They've been on the vessel nine months. They've got the right to ask for the around US $37,000 wages owing."
The Flinders port of Thevenard is 793km west of Adelaide, and 3km from the centre of Ceduna. Major export cargoes handled through the port include gypsum, grains, seeds and salt exports, and fertilizer.
The ITF Australia has blitzed 10 SA ships in the last three days and found three in dispute over wages and conditions.