The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) today released an appalling photograph onboard the Liberian-registered bulk carrier raising fresh concerns and fears about the welfare of seafarers working onboard Blumenthal’s global Flag of Convenience (FoC) fleet.
“The fact that seafarers are being forced to collect rainwater in order to survive is an indictment on Blumenthal. Their diet is a bread and water, without the water!” said ITF maritime coordinator Jacqueline Smith.
“Blumenthal is playing dangerously with the lives of these seafarers aboard the LITA which must be exposed to and condemned by the entire maritime industry,” said Smith.
The ITF had alerted the Liberian flag authorities more than a week ago after an initial report that the vessel was running critically low on water.
“We are concerned, but not surprised, about the lack of action from the Liberian registry because clearly nothing has been done to help these men,” said Smith.
“This systemic abuse of these seafarers’ rights is the dreadful reality of many Flag of Convenience ships and one that allows unscrupulous operators like Blumenthal to exploit workers’ most fundamental rights like access to clean drinking water,” added Smith.
This revelation is more damming proof of the systemic mistreatment of seafarers across Blumenthal’s fleet sparked by the detention of the Anna-Elisabeth in Australia and the release of distressing stories of intimidation, threats and abusive conditions onboard the German shipping company’s global fleet
ITF inspector and leader of the Blumenthal targeted operation, Sven Hemme said today: “Over the past six weeks, the ITF have exposed the exploitative conditions seafarers are forced to endure working on Blumenthal ships. Seafarers who are desperate for help.
“This must be the final straw. The Liberian flag must intervene, and Blumenthal's president Dr. Matthias Reith must engage with the ITF and German maritime unions to set a responsible and dignified standard for workers on board all of their ships,” concluded Hemme.
Luke Menzies, ITF Maritime Communications Manager (Sydney): +61 433 889 844
Sven Hemme, ITF Inspector (Germany): +49 1512 7037384