Clarification: Cape & Torres News article regarding bulk carrier Movers 3

The Maritime Union of Australia wishes to clarify a number of points contained in an article that appeared in the Cape & Torres News regarding the bulk carrier Movers 3, which has been banned from all Australian ports for 18 months by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority after being detained in Weipa for two months.

The article incorrectly identified Sarah Maguire as “MUA Queensland Inspector”. Ms Maguire is an Australian inspector for the International Transport Workers’ Federation.

The article also suggested that Rio Tinto was responsible for the chartering of the Movers 3, which is operated by Aswan Shipping. The bulk carrier is not part of Rio Tinto’s supply chain and was instead chartered by one of the mining company’s customers to transport bauxite from Australian to China.

Despite not being the charterer of the Movers 3, Rio Tinto has been proactive in trying to resolve the situation facing the seafarers onboard the vessel.

ITF Australia Coordinator Ian Bray said seafarers on board the Movers 3 had endured appalling conditions.

“The detention of the Movers 3 followed clear evidence of breaches of the Maritime Labour Convention, including blatant abuse of the human rights of the seafarers onboard,” Mr Bray said.

“The owner of the Movers 3, Aswan Shipping, had been contracted by a customer of Rio Tinto to transport bauxite from Australia to China. The mining giant did not charter the vessel, and the seafarers are not direct or indirect employees of Rio Tinto.

“The MUA and ITF are seeking to work proactively with Rio Tinto to ensure that human rights and living conditions become key measurements in the vetting systems used to identify suitable ships that may be utilised in the Rio Tinto supply chain.

“We want to work together to improve the situation facing seafarers in the deregulated global shipping industry, particularly onboard the vessels that carry Australia’s export commodities.”

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