The fleet manager for the Thai-flagged tanker Tasco Amata detained in Melbourne on 11 May has hit back at claims made by the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) Australia that the crew were underpaid.
Speaking with IHS Maritime, Bangkok Tipco Maritime Company fleet manager Kornnarong Khem said the ITF allegations were untrue.
“We pay our crew around USD640 (each). The charge by the ITF is not accurate. It’s unfair. We did everything as per Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) and we treated the crew fairly,” he said.
The ILO Joint Maritime Commission set the monthly basic wage figure for able seafarers at USD592, as of 1 January 2015 and USD614, as of 1 January 2016.
However, ITF Australia assistant co-ordinator Matt Purcell said that was only the basic wage and did not include overtime or leave pay, which would bring the monthly wage to USD1,060.
In a statement to IHS Maritime, a spokesperson for the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) said it had detained Tasco Amata under the Navigation Act.
“The detention relates to defective main propulsion machinery,” he said. “An International Safety Management Code deficiency was issued for the failure of the Master/Owner to report the mechanical problem, as required by SOLAS and the Navigation Act.”
The vessel was restocked with food after AMSA and ITF raised this matter to the company, he added.
“AMSA officers did not find any other evidence of MLC-related deficiencies at this time,” the spokesperson said. “The ITF raised issues with AMSA relating to the MLC earlier this month (June). AMSA found the wages of seafarers on board Tasco Amata were in line with their relevant agreements.”
Management representatives discussed with ITF on 25 June to resolve any outstanding issues or misunderstandings.