Australia bans Panamanian-flagged bulk carrier for wage exploitation

Costanza (Photo: Stropnik)
Costanza (Photo: Stropnik)

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has banned the Panamanian-flagged bulk carrier Costanza from Australian ports for three months.

AMSA boarded the Constanza on Wednesday, November 9, for a routine port state control (PSC) inspection, and to investigate a complaint from the International Transport Federation (ITF) about underpayment of seafarer wages.

During the inspection, AMSA found evidence that crew were owed about AU$108,000 in wages. Additionally, the majority of the crew seafarer employment agreements had a salary amount less than the collective agreement for the vessel.

The ship was immediately detained for serious breaches of the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC), which upholds seafarers' basic rights.

Michael Drake, AMSA Executive Director of Operations, said this constituted a serious breach of the MLC.

The operator, Japan-based Orient Line Corporation, has now taken the required steps to ensure all seafarers onboard are paid in full.

AMSA has received confirmation that the seafarers from Costanza have now been paid their outstanding wages and the vessel has been released from detention.

Once the ship departs Newcastle, it will not be permitted to approach or enter an Australian port until February 9, 2023.

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Baird Maritime / Work Boat World