Thai tanker Tasco Amata is at the centre of a pay dispute in the Port of Melbourne, Australia, after its crew called in the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), alleging unpaid wages.
The ship has been stuck in Melbourne for six weeks undergoing repairs after breaking down outside Melbourne Heads when engine turbines blew up, ITF Australia assistant co-ordinator Matt Purcell said to IHS Maritime. Some crew members had not been paid their onboard wages for more than three months, he said.
“The crew want out,” Purcell said. “They’ve just about run out of food again. They want to go home.”
A shipboard employment contract with Bitumen Marine Company provided to IHS Maritime shows that Thai AB was on THB21,500 (USD638) a month or approximately USD21 a day.
Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) inspectors are checking the vessel.
In a separate incident, two shipping companies and their masters have been convicted of dumping rubbish on the Great Barrier Reef.
Brisbane Magistrates’ Court found Tokyo-based Perses Maritima Ltd and the master of its Japan-registered vehicle carrier Asteria Leader guilty of illegally dumping garbage in October 2014, in breach of the Protection of the Sea Act 1983, according to an AMSA statement.
The court fined Perses Maritima AUD5,000 (USD3,900) and the master AUD500.
Hong Kong-based Seaspan Corporation and the master of its locally-registered container ship CSGL Brisbane were also found guilty of illegally discharging garbage in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park in August 2014.
Seaspan was fined AUD6,000 and the master fined AUD600.
“These prosecutions highlight to the shipping community that if they flout the regulations, they can be caught and subsequently prosecuted,” AMSA CEO Mick Kinley said.