The ITF in Canada has been making full use of new rights for seafarers to ensure fair treatment and pay. A Japanese-owned, Panama-flagged bulk carrier became the third vessel to be detained in the country under the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (MLC), which came into force in August.
The Kouyou was detained in Quebec after ITF inspectors found that the crew were owed more than USD51,500 in back pay.
ITF inspector Gerard Bradbury said that the 20 crew from Myanmar and Vietnam and the Canadian captain were not being paid or treated properly, in particular with the pay that should have been allotted to their families at home. He also found that crew had paid USD6600 to obtain their jobs, although recruitment fees are illegal under international labour conventions. Some crew were also receiving less than half the wages due under their labour agreement.
Transport Canada has detained the vessel until all the wages have been settled and crew have been sent home.
ITF Canadian coordinator Peter Lahay said: “We are extremely pleased that Canada has seriously given life to the MLC … The world's seafarers can rest assured that if they have problems aboard their ships, Canada’s ITF inspectors will do everything in their power to correct them.”