The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) claims that crew members aboard a ship at a BHP terminal in Queensland are being neglected and underpaid.
The claim is based on a seafarer’s email allegedly sent from aboard the 80,000-tonne bulk carrier Villa Deste to the ITF.
As explained by the union, the worker pleaded for help claiming the crew had no food and no onboard wages. They were reportedly being fed on a $4 food budget per day, despite having an $8 allowance.
ITF said BHP is continuing to block the union’s requests to inspect the vessel, which is currently at anchor at the company’s Hay Point Coal Terminal in Mackay, north Queensland. The vessel is due to berth February 14.
The Liberian-flagged Villa Deste is owned by a Greek company Evalend Shipping Company S.A.
ITF informed that it earlier contacted the Department of Home Affairs regarding BHP’s denial to grant access for ITF inspectors to inspect ships at Hay Point. According to the union, the department responded saying “approval to access a port facility is the responsibility of the port facility operator,” dismissing the ITF’s concerns.
“We call on the Minister to immediately intervene in his Department’s maladministration and facilitate our inspectors access to the Villa Deste to answer the seafarers’ urgent call for help,” ITF national coordinator Dean Summers concluded.