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Four seafarers have seized a cargo ship in Senegal amid a dispute with the shipowner over unpaid wages.
The seafarers are being backed by the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) which is acting on their behalf in court.
The ITF says the four seafarers have been abandoned on the ship and without pay for months at a Port of Dakar anchorage in violation of the ILO’s Maritime Labour Convention 2006. The ship is also without engine and unable to run even basic warning lights. The ITF also accuses port authorities have ignoring requests for help for more than a year.
“The Onda has been described as a ghost ship, left to its fate by the owners and authorities. Both have completely neglected their responsibilities to look after the crew,” said Steve Trowsdale, Inspectorate Coordinator at the ITF. “They seem not to care that four human beings have been left to rot with inadequate food and water and no way off the ship.”
According to the ITF, the ship will remain seized until the seafarers are paid the full $84,000 in wages owed to them.
“The ITF has seized the ship and is demanding that the owners pay the crew what they are owed, together with expenses the ITF has incurred, and the cost of getting the seafarers home. If they don’t respond, the next stage will be to go back to court to have the ship auctioned off to recoup this money,” said Trowsdale.
“The owners have been put on notice. These seafarers have suffered for long enough. I will have no hesitation in taking that step if they do not respond promptly,” he said.
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