ITF Agreement Struck In Newcastle

The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) has secured a win with the signing of a collective agreement for the crew onboard the Flag of Convenience MV Gurasis.

The ITF had concerns for the welfare of 24 Filipino and Indian crew members onboard the vessel, which docked in Newcastle over the weekend.

After six hours of negotiations, company representatives from the Indian shipping company, Bhatia International, signed an ITF agreement.

ITF Australia national coordinator Dean Summers said the agreement was a victory for seafarers aboard the vessel.

"There were a range of issues surrounding safety and conditions onboard and this collective agreement will ensure the safety, dignity and standards for those seafarers," Mr Summers said.

"We're encouraged that this company has finally recognised their responsibility to the ship's crew and we'll be keeping a close eye on them from here.

"We're hopeful this will pave the way for similar agreements on the company's three other ships.

"Overall, this sends a strong message to ship owners that Australia remains a staunch supporter of the ITF's Flag of Convenience campaign and that this country remains a safe haven for seafarers."