Cases of crews downing tools around the world in protest at the enforced stay onboard during the coronavirus pandemic are on the increase.
Two more ships in Western Australia and Victoria refused to keep sailing yesterday in desperate bids for repatriation despite Australia’s very tricky crew change stance.
The Conti Stockholm boxship and the Ben Rinnes bulk carrier are just the latest ships to become idle and block berths due to over-contract crew enforcing their right to refuse to sail indefinitely, joining the alumina-carting Unison Jasper which has been held up in Newcastle, New South Wales since last week.
“The crews of these two ships have bravely stood up and said that they will not be leaving these ports to do another tour of duty on what amount to floating prisons,” said Dean Summers, the International Transport Workers’ Federation’s coordinator for Australia.
“Let’s be clear: these tired and fatigued seafarers are simply exercising their human rights to get off these ships because governments like Australia refuse to address the issues around the crew change crisis,” Summers added, going on to predict many more ships would follow suit.