HUNDREDS RALLY TO SUPPORT PAKISTANI SEAFARERS

Hundreds of activists occupied Fremantle’s Victoria Quay’s E berth today, to send a strong message of solidarity with 80 seafarers who have been ripped off by the owners of the Bader 3 ship of shame.

For ten days, owners Arab Ship Managers have refused to recognise the ILO's charter of human rights to permit the workers respite in the form of shore leave.

Those aboard the Bader 3 have been ripped off to the tune of $500,000.

Alarmingly, the crew has been forced to sign a secret deal with the owners to accept 60c per hour for overtime and forfeit human rights while employed.

They've also been pressured to agree to horrific conditions including paying their own fare home if they become ill or injured and that of their replacement.

"Today's protest was attended by activists from across the political spectrum, keen to see justice prevail for these workers," International Transport Federation inspector Keith McCorriston said.

"The message to shonky employers is clear. We will not sit idly by and ignore clear abuses and injustices to proceed."

"This dispute also illustrates why we need shipping reform in this country."

The son of the Jordanian owners runs the Australian based chartering company Livestock Shipping Services in South Perth.

LSS continue to deny any responsibility for the crew and like its parent company refuse to speak to Australian ITF representatives.

The 35 year old Flag of Convenience (FOC) livestock carrier has been subjected to lengthy delays and Australian Maritime Safety Authority's detention.

Speakers at the rally today included Fran Logan opposition spokeman for IR in the ALP and Upper House MP Lyn Maclaren for the Greens.

Fremantle Mayor Brad Peitte was also present, with delegates, members and officials from the MUA, AMWU, AEIMU, TWU and Unions WA also joining the protest.

The campaign will continue until the workers get justice. Unions and community activists will push the state and federal governments to intervene on behalf of the workers.

The only response from the Arab Ship Managers has been to threaten legal action against Fremantle maritime workers and their families.