December 7, 2022

The bulk carrier that underpaid workers left the Port of Newcastle

A bulk carrier banned from entering Australian waters for three months has left the port of Newcastle.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority banned the Panamanian-flagged Costanza for three months after it discovered the crew on board owed $108,000 in wages.

It was also found that the majority of crew member employment contracts included a lower wage amount than the ship’s collective agreement.

The vessel was immediately detained for serious breaches of the Maritime Labor Convention (MLC) which upholds the fundamental rights of seafarers.

AMSA’s executive director of operations, Michael Drake, said this was a serious violation of the MLC.

“Taking financial advantage from seafarers in this way is nothing short of exploitation,

“The majority of operators in the industry are doing the right thing with their sailors, but for the few who are not, take this as a reminder that you will be held accountable.

“We do not tolerate the exploitation of seafarers in our waters.”

The operator – Orient Line Corp. Japan – has now taken the necessary steps to ensure that all seafarers on board are paid in full.

The vessel left Newcastle on Friday evening – the bulk carrier is not permitted to return to Australian waters until February 9 next year.