Canadian flag waving with Parliament Buildings hill and Library in the background
September 24, 2018 – Montreal, QC– The Seafarers’ International Union of Canada (SIU) is calling on the Government of Canada to enforce the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) standards aboard the Duzgit Endeavour vessel, where foreign seafarers have been subject to abuse under the TFWP.
After multiple visits by Port State Control officers and interventions by International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) Inspection Officers, the SIU has learned that the crew of the Turkish-flagged Duzgit Endeavour have not received pay since July 1, 2018.
Furthermore, it has been brought to our attention that there are issues regarding the repatriation of two crew members. The crew members had asked to go home at the end of their contract more than two months ago but their request was refused by the ship’s operator, who instructed them to remain onboard for the unforeseeable future, despite receiving no pay.
“The situation on board the vessel is essentially the same thing we’ve seen from every vessel under the program in the past few years. The seafarers have been given no information and haven’t been paid for over two months,” explained Vince Giannopoulos, an inspector with the ITF, who has received multiple complaints from crew aboard the ship.
The situation is urgent. The SIU of Canada is therefore calling on the federal government to move swiftly and ensure that the crew receives their hard-earned wages and are not subject to additional labour abuse.
“We applaud the actions of Port State Control and ITF Officers in finding these major abuses,” stated James Given, President of SIU Canada. “Further, we ask ESDC to take a hard look at everyone involved with this vessel, while engaged in Canadian Cabotage, and ban them from the program for this continued abuse of international seafarers.”
Under the Government of Canada’s new TFW Maritime Guidelines for Seafarers, which came into effect September 11, 2018, abuses such as these will be easier to deal with as foreign seafarers are required to know their rights and have new employment contracts outlining the company’s obligations when operating in Canada.
About the SIU of Canada: The Seafarers’ International Union of Canada (SIU) is affiliated with the Seafarers’ International Union of North America serving unlicensed sailors since 1938. The most important sailors’ union in Canada, the SIU represents the majority of unlicensed sailors working aboard vessels on the Great Lakes, the St. Lawrence River, on the East and West Coasts. In addition to vessels operated in Canadian waters, SIU members also have the opportunity to work aboard vessels delivering cargoes in the United States, Europe and South America.