Australia Bans Bulk Carrier Constanza For Wage Exploitation

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

AMSA boarded the Constanza on 9 November 2022 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 AUD$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.

Bulk Carrier Constanza
Credits: AMSA

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

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

“Taking financial advantage of seafarers in this way is nothing short of exploitation,” Mr Drake said.

“The majority of industry operators do the right thing by their seafarers, but for the few who do not, consider this 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 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 9 February 2023.

Reference: AMSA

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