QUEBEC CITY, Oct. 28, 2013 /CNW/ - The foreign-owned ship, the MV Kouyou was released from detention by Transport Canada over the weekend in the port of Quebec City. The vessel was detained under the new Maritime Labour Convention (MLC 2006) which came into force in August.
The release came only after all deficiencies were resolved and a plan put in place by the flag state of Panama that would provide a measure of future guarantee against the wage and contract violations found on board the vessel and by its Japanese owner Doun Kisen.
International Transport Workers Federation-Unifor Inspector Gerard Bradbury said all back wages were paid late Friday evening. The crew was paid $51,500 in owed monies which included some $6,600 paid by crew members in recruitment or placement fees to agents in Myanmar and Vietnam.
Bradbury also said that five crew members who wanted to go home from Quebec City departed from Montreal late Friday evening thanks to Patrice Caron and the Seafarers International Union who made sure that their safe departure from Montreal took place smoothly. Caron also said that the Transport Canada detention made the back pay claim move quickly and effectively.
Bradbury said that he was extremely pleased that Canada has been the first to detain a ship under the MLC. "Canada's recognition of the importance of these new rules meant that our country will not be an entry port for greater exploitation," said Bradbury. "Workers aboard the vessel were badly treated, and could have been cheated many months of much needed income. Seafarers often work under difficult conditions, far from home for months on end."
Transport Canada inspectors enforced the International Labour Organization convention (ILO), agreed to by the world's shipping nations and member states of the ILO.
Unifor is the new Canadian national union created by the joining together of the Canadian Auto Workers union and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union this past Labour Day weekend. Unifor represents 300,000 members in 20 different economic sectors.
SOURCE Unifor the union