ITF Week Of Action Finishes In Newcastle

The International Transport Workers’ Federation’s (ITF) Australian and regional Flags of Convenience (FOC) inspectorate is wrapping up its week of action in Newcastle today and considers the week a resounding success.

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Over this week, ITF teams of inspectors and activists have given 20 ships a detailed inspection under the policies and procedures of the FOC campaign. The ITF are more than happy with the result of all of our actions and need to recognise the support and facilitation of the Newcastle Port Corporation.

The success of the week is measured by how the Newcastle industry and community treats visiting seafarers after our efforts to educate and inform through our activists and campaigning.

The ITFs Australian National Coordinator Dean Summers believes that the relationship built throughout the Week of Action between activists and industry ensured that the safety, welfare and dignity of international seafarers visiting the Port of Newcastle was made a priority.

“We have returned more than $250,000 of back wages to seafarers over the week and ensured their living conditions were improved in many of ways” said Dean Summers.

“One standout ship however is the Australian owned Panamanian registered tanker the "Botany Troubadour" which is owned by Sydney based brothers who had not paid any of their Fijian, Filipino and Indian seafarers since September.

“Through our pressure we have been successful in getting these lost wages back to these men and will maintain efforts to ensure wages and conditions are continually respected.”

Through this Week of Action the ITF calls for a task force to be set up to investigate the three suspicious deaths on the sage Sagittarius, with the cooperation and assistance of the Federal Justice Minister, the Hon. Jason Clare MP.

The ITF strongly calls upon Newcastle Industry and community to provide a higher level of welfare to visiting seafarers.

The ITF also congratulates the Gillard Labor Government on its recent shipping legislation that demonstrates a practical alternative to FOC shipping. Finally,

The ITF calls on the Federal Government to move towards a better coordinated National Seafarers Welfare Advisory Council consistent with the Maritime Labour Convention 2006.