||Issue No. 332||10 November 2006|
Affairs of State
Interview: Common Ground
Industrial: A Low Act
Unions: The Number of the Least
Politics: The Smoking Gun
Economics: Microcredit, Compulsory Superannuation and Inequality
Environment: Low Voltage
History: The Art of Social Justice
Review: Work’s Unhealthy Appetite
Culture: A Forgotten Poet
Records of Convenience
The rip-off was exposed in Newcastle, last weekend, when ITF inspectors busted the Maltese flagged coal carrier, Caravos Horizon, for fraudulent book keeping.
One set of accounts, for authorities, purported to pay a Filipino seaman $US1059 a month, under the terms of an international agreement.
But ITF digging unearthed a second set of figures that revealed the man was actually receiving $US342 a month.
"It is fraud, pure and simple," ITF Australian co-ordinator, Dean Summers, said. "It is a systematic method of defrauding seafarers of their rightful income.
"It raises a other concerns about the way these people operate.
"If they lie about wages, what else are they lying about?"
Summers said the true records, taken from the ship, revealed some seafarers had been on board for 22 months without a day off.
The Caravos Horizon arrived in Newcastle with a predominantly Filipino crew of 23.
"If you have a crew that has been on a vessel for 22 months straight, and you're paying less than half the minimum rates, there has to be room for evildoers to encourage these guys to smuggle or do things they wouldn't normally do," Summers said.
"The same sort of ships carry ammonium nitrate around our coast on federal government permits.
"The flag of convenience system can be a security risk and regulations need to be tightened up."
Loose Monkey for High Jump
Meanwhile, authorities passed a death sentence on a loose monkey aboard another Australia-bound vessel.
Lloyd's List reported the creature had gone AWOL on the high sea, somewhere between China and Australia.
It quoted an Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service spokesman as saying the monkey must die.
Believed to be a Macaque, a species known to carry rabies and encephalitis, the stowaway had gone to ground, evading two full crew searches.
The AQIS officer said if his organisation couldn't be convinced of the ape's demise, the un-named vessel would be restricted to an off-shore buoy, while AQIS carried out a search and destroy mission.
Summers said no monkeys were members of maritime unions, anywhere in the world.
"Even so," he said, "if it had been on the Caravos Trader, I'm sure the captain would have been able to produce a signed copy of its wage documents."
|Search All Issues | Latest Issue | Previous Issues | Print Latest Issue|
© 1999-2002 Workers Online