Third Alcoa Ship Arrives Owing Foreign Crew $190,000

It’s a hat-trick! the ITF says the FOC ship bringing Petcoke to Alcoa’s Portland refinery completes a shameful hatrick for the US mining giant

The Hong Kong registered “Gold River” - which berthed immediately after the MV Portland was taken away by a mystery crew – owes its foreign crew up to $190,000 in “stolen wages.”

ITF inspectors boarded the Gold River last night and today, undertaking a thorough audit of wage records, hours of work and rest and home allotments as well as speaking to the Chinese crew. 

“From that we calculated wages withheld from the crew  amounting to more than $115,000 Australian dollars with another $72,000 in leave pay and home allotments still unaccounted for,” ITF National Co-ordinator Dean Summers said.

 “If there was an international award for dodgy dealings with FOC’s Alcoa would win hands down. 

“With the Strategic Alliance corruption allegations still under investigation by the AFP and dodgy wage books on the Greenery Sea still being disputed, one would expect ALOCA to pay a little more attention to the quality of ships it uses to make its huge profits.”

The Gold River episode come hours after MV Portland’s Aussie crew were woken by around 30 security guards at 1am yesterday and forcibly removed from their vessel.

Alcoa then secretly rushed a foreign crew on board to sail the MV Portland to Singapore.

The company is trying to circumvent Australia’s cabotage laws and use foreign vessels and crew, many of them Flag of Convenience (FOC’s) using exploited workers on as little as $2 an hour.

“This is the shipping that Australian workers are expected to compete against - where Seafarers aren’t paid, wages are stolen and the books are cooked,” Mr Summers said. 

“The Australian coast should be for safe, well trained Australian crews protected under Australian conditions.”