ITF Win Backpay of $40,000

After several months of agonising negotiations the International Transport Workers' Federation in Australia have been able to get confirmation and an agreement from a Taiwanese shipping operator.

Shih Wei Navigation have said they will meet the claim made by ITF Assistant Coordinator, Matt Purcell on the Panamanian Flagged vessel, MV Blessing SW, for US$404,000 payable and owing to 48 Chinese Seafarers that had served on the vessel last year.

This is a result of two inspections conducted on the vessel in November 2013 and later in January this year in the Port of Portland, Victoria.

Matt Purcell said that in January this year, they paid a further US$33,000 USD owing the crew in order to clear the Port as they were afraid that the vessel may be detained by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority.

"This is not the first time these owners have been caught with double books as they were also detected last year on the MV Stamina SW whereby the same operators eventually owned up and paid out US$187,000 to the crews serving on that vessel," Purcell said.

"ITF Australia in conjunction with London Office are now supervising the payment method of the 48 Chinese Seafarers in order to ensure that they actually receive the money they are owed.

"This result goes down to the effective work of the ITF inspectorate in Australia but also would not be possible without the assistance of our volunteer network within the Maritime Union of Australia."