QUEBEC CITY, Oct. 24, 2013 /CNW/ - The Panamanian-flagged bulk carrier
Kouyou was detained today in the port of Quebec after maritime labour
officials determined that crew were owed more than $30,000 US in back
It is the third detention in Canada of a vessel under the new
international Maritime Labour Convention (MLC), which came into force
worldwide in August.
Problems aboard the ship were discovered by Gerard Bradbury, an
inspector with the International Transport Workers Federation and
Canadian union, Unifor.
"Twenty Burmese and Vietnamese crew, including the Canadian Captain
James Maung are not being paid or treated properly, and in particular
had been shorted on the home-allotment portion of their pay that
provides for families left at home while seafarers are abroad at work,
The most alarming situation aboard involved crew who had paid a total of
$6,600 USD in fees to obtain their jobs, Bradbury said. Recruitment or
placement fees paid to staffing agents are illegal under international
labour conventions. In some cases, crew were also receiving less than
half the wage owed them under their labour agreement, Bradbury added.
Wage calculations are ongoing, but are expected to top $30,000 USD.
Four crew members have asked to be repatriated after receiving wages
Transport Canada was notified and has stepped in to detain the vessel
until all wages have been satisfied and crew have been sent home.
Bradbury said that contact has been made with the Japanese owners Doun
Kisen KK, the Japanese company that owns the vessel and that talks are
The Kouyou is the third foreign vessel detained in Canada for serious
violations of international labour standards and violations of a
collective bargaining agreement.
"We are extremely pleased that Canada has seriously given life to the
MLC," said Peter Lahay ITF Canadian Coordinator. "On our request
Transport Canada inspectors are enforcing a convention that has been
agreed to by the world's shipping community and member states of the
International Labour Organization (ILO). The ILO has concluded that the
worlds seafarers are among the most isolated and marginalized workers
in the world and are in need to special protection. Protecting them is
what we are doing."
He went on to say that Canadian's should be proud of being the first
country anywhere in the world to detain a vessel under provisions of
the MLC. In all three cases so far, crew members from Hydra Warrior,
Lia M and now Kouyou were being badly cheated."
"The worlds seafarers can rest assured that if they have problems aboard
their ships Canada's ITF inspectors will do everything in their power
to correct the problems."
SOURCE: International Transport Workers Federation
For further information:
ITF Inspector Gerard Bradbury 902-441-2195
ITF Canadian Coordinator Peter Lahay 604-418-0345