ITF Urges Suspension of Alcoa Licence Following Bribery Allegations

The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) is joining its affiliate the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA), in calling for the suspension of an anti-cabotage licence granted to American aluminium corporation Alcoa.

It follows the discovery of papers by ITF inspectors which appear to document a number of bribes paid to a shipping inspector and drug enforcement and immigration authorities by the captain of the foreign flagged vessel.

Last month the ITF urged the multi-billion dollar company to reassess its decision to sack Australian seafarers and scrap its Australian vessel, in favour of Singapore-registered flag of convenience ship the Strategic Alliance crewed with overseas workers.

Chair of the ITF Seafarers’ section Dave Heindel said: “What has been uncovered suggests a model of bribery and underhand dealings with this ship. That’s not something we’d accept in the US and we're appalled that this type of behaviour still happens in global shipping.   

“The federal government of Australia needs to take action now to suspend the cabotage-busting licence Alcoa has been granted and there must be a thorough and extensive investigation. Nothing less will do.”

ITF maritime coordinator Jacqueline Smith added: “What we’re talking about here appears to be systematic and organised bribery which the captain may well be forced to be a part of due to external pressures.”