ITF campaign identifies Bulgarian ‘ship of shame’ in Australia

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THE International Transport Workers Federation continues to identify cases of crew mistreatment, wage theft, and deplorable conditions aboard ships operating in Australian waters.

Their latest example is in Mackay Harbour involving the Eleen Sofia, run by Eleen Marine from Bulgaria, reports Singapore’s Splash 247.

The 2008-built supramax is currently under arrest by the Australian Border Force and has been relocated to Gladstone where it will remain until at least May 13.

“The ITF’s inspectors have met this ship of shame at a number of Australian ports to check crew welfare and safety, examine payment records, and enforce the Maritime Labour Convention standards for provisioning aboard the ship,” said the Australian Inspectorate Coordinator Ian Bray.

In late April, the ITF identified that the crew had no access to food aboard the ship as the provisions had been depleted. The ship’s owner has repeatedly failed to reprovision the ship with basic sustenance and human essentials.

The ITF is now working with the regulators, the Australian Border Force and local port authorities in Queensland to ensure the crew remaining aboard the ship while it is under arrest have access to decent, healthy living conditions, shore leave, medical attention and potentially repatriation while the issues with the ship and the reasons for its arrest are worked through.

The ITF, through its inspectorate program throughout Australia’s network of mainland ports, uncovered more than A$30 million (US$19.76 million) in stolen wages during the last calendar year.