• 21 Pinoy sailors held in Australia

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    A PANAMANIAN-REGISTERED bulk carrier has been grounded by Australian authorities and its 21 Filipino crew have been made to stay on the ship over alleged non-compliance with the Maritime Labor Convention (MLC).

    Reports said the Filipino sailors have been “suffering” under unfavorable conditions aboard Bulk Brasil.

    According to a report on maritime news website IHS Maritime 360, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) stopped the ship at Porta Kembla, New South Wales, on January 28.

    The report noted that the Filipino crew were “short of provisions” and have not received their paychecks for four months.

    AMSA told IHS Maritime that the bulk carrier’s violation of the MLC was discovered during an inspection last Thursday.

    Japanese company KeyMax Maritime, the vessel’s operator, reportedly tried to rectify the situation by sending most of the Filipino seamen’s wages to their families and placed orders for provisions last Friday, a separate report in Illawara Mercury said.

    Transport union International Transport Workers’ Federation said in the report that it will be “keeping a watch” on the company even after the ship departs Australia.

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