‘Modern day slavery’: UK union hits out at Indian OSV owner

An OSV was detained by authorities in Aberdeen, Scotland, with its owners accused of “modern day slavery”. The Indian crew of the Malaviya Seven have not been paid for two months, leading a local trade union to describe the situation onboard as a “blatant example of modern day slavery”.

The 1994-built ship is owned by Mumbai-based GOL Offshore.

A second vessel, the Malaviya Twenty is set to be investigated too at another British port, Great Yarmouth.

The general secretary of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) Mick Cash said: “The seizure of this vessel exposes the scandal of modern-day slavery on our ships right at the heart of the UK’s oil capital, Aberdeen.

“It also exposes the shameful practices in the exploitation of our natural resources, practices that must be outlawed and regulated against immediately.

“These ships of shame are a blatant abuse of migrant workers and are contrary to any number of stated industry and government objectives around human rights and maximising economic recovery from our resources.

“Additionally, it is a catalyst for the dumping of UK seafarers, many thousands of whom are now drawing benefit from the state.”

BP confirmed it had chartered the vessel from June 1 until Wednesday.

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.
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