Panamanian-flagged bulk carrier Kouyou is the third vessel Canada has detained under the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 after officials at the Port of Quebec determined that crew were owed more than $51,000 in backpay.
Problems on board the ship were discovered by Gerard Bradbury, an inspector with the International Transport Workers Federation and Unifor union.
Mr Bradbury said 20 Burmese and Vietnamese crew, as well as the Canadian master James Maung, were not being paid or treated properly, and in particular had been shorted on the home-allotment portion of their pay that provides for families left at home while seafarers are abroad at work.
Some crew had paid a total of $6,600 in fees to obtain their jobs, according to Mr Bradbury. Recruitment or placement fees paid to crewing agents are illegal under international labour conventions.
In some cases, Mr Bradbury found that crew were also receiving less than half the wage owed them under their labour agreement.
Wage calculations are ongoing, but he said they are expected to top $51,000. Four crew have asked to be repatriated after receiving wages owed them.
Transport Canada has ben notified and has stepped in to detain the vessel until all wages have been taken care of and the crew have been sent home.
Mr Bradbury said contact had been made with the Japanese owners, Doun Kisen KK, and talks were under way.
Kouyou is the third vessel detained in Canada for serious violations of international labour standards and violations of a collective bargaining agreement.
ITF Canada co-ordinator Peter Lahay said in all three cases of detention so far, crew members from the vessels Hydra Warrior, Lia M and now Kouyou had all been “badly cheated”.
The Panama-flagged bulk carrier Hydra Warrior, owned by Regal Seas Maritime, was detained in Sept-Isles, Quebec, on August 22, for the lack of an employment agreement with crew and paying wages below the MLC-agreed minimum.
On September 7, Cyprus-flagged Lia M , operated by Transmed Shipping, was detained in Quebec because of a lack of employment contracts and unpaid wages and poor conditions for crew, including refusal for a crew member to see a doctor.
Lloyd’s List< is awaiting response to questions regarding these detentions from Panama and Cyprus flags, as well as comment from Doun Kisen KK and Transmed. No further details could be found for Regal Seas Maritime.
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