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Morgan condemns lack of action for exploited seafarers

19 June, 2007

Following the emergence of yet another case of worker exploitation on the Irish Sea, Sinn Fein spokesperson on workers' rights Deputy Arthur Morgan has condemned the Irish government's lack of action on the issue and called upon them to intervene in the case.

The Louth TD said;

"The state port control inspectors have taken control of the Lillian off the coast of New Ross, Co. Wexford after a number of very serious safety concerns were raised. Subsequent to this International Transport Federation inspectors found that crew aboard the Belize-registered vessel have not been paid since they boarded the vessel on April 2nd and as well as this they have no contracts in place.

"The activities concerning pay and work practices, the cynical exploitation of workers and health and safety concerns on this ship has led the International Transport Federation to correctly describe the vessel as a 'floating sweatshop'. However, what makes this matter even worse is that this incident is just one in a substantial list of sub-standard shipping incidents on Irish waters. This cannot be allowed to continue.

"I am now calling on the government to live up to its responsibilities and ensure that the workers aboard these vessels are protected and not forced into the current neglectful situation whereby the workers' human rights are disregarded completely just because they are seafarers and not working on land. Seafarers, EU citizens or otherwise, should be entitled to the equal employment rights." ENDS

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