ContainersDry CargoOperations

Crews down tools Down Under

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.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.


    1. “Capetan” Clueless, it isn’t a strike if they haven’t got contracts. People like you believe seafarers should be so bullied and kept in so much fear that they couldn’t possibly make a decision like this for themselves. It has to be orchestrated by someone else because seafarers are children who can’t think for themselves. Get real.

  1. Good for those crews.
    If only more did the same.
    The trouble is probably that in most countries they can’t get any support so can be bullied into sailing.
    Good for the Aussies, some of them are still quite brave.
    Obviously I’m not talking about the Premier of Victoria here…

  2. It will be essential that word spreads and other ships crews follow the example of these brave people. Otherwise these few crews will be bullied or arrested by the vested authorities and their ships moved to anchorages so that the port business can resume. Good luck to them.

  3. Solydarity!
    If stranded crew really needs to sign off,they have to do so…othervise only whinning and hoping to weakling directors of several types of international maritime “bla bla blas” doesn’t makes cents.
    So,my dear colleagues trust only yorself! trast nobody!..we have to force tham treat seamans like a humans but not like a convicts.
    Everything ia in our hands.
    Will get all we deserve.

Back to top button