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APT allegedly owes A$2m in crew wages

Caledonian Sky has been operating Kimberley cruises under a temporary licence
The Australian coordinator of the International Transport Workers Federation, Ian Bray, claims Australian Pacific Touring (APT) owes A$2m in unpaid crew wages.

In a release issued Tuesday Bray said an ITF inspection undertaken in the port of Broome revealed a crew of 76 aboard Caledonian Sky had been underpaid approximately A$2m during a six-month period while operating Kimberley cruises between that port and Darwin.

Ship going to Fiji

As reported here, Caledonian Sky has been purchased from APT to begin operations for Captain Cook Cruises Fiji in November.

Bray said, although the ship is registered in the Bahamas under a flag of convenience, it is operating with a temporary licence issued under the Coastal Trading Act which requires crew are paid award wages.

He said the ITF has made formal complaint to the Australian Maritime Safety Authority and the Fair Work Ombudsman and is working closely with each agency on behalf of the Caledonian Sky crew.

Legislative reform

Bray said the ITF has been calling on the Australian government for legislative reform.

‘Part of the reforms being sought are to empower customs officers to deny clearing such vessels from leaving Australia until wages have been paid,’ he said.

He said the ITF Australian inspectorate has so far recovered more than A$10m in unpaid wages this calendar year.

Update: See reaction from APT, just in: 'APT: ITF allegations on crew pay ‘misrepresent the situation’