Bluships investigated over seafarer welfare infringements

Detained ship Anna-Elizabeth by Australian authorities. Credit: International Workers' Federation

A targeted operation has been launched against one of Germany’s oldest shipping companies, Johan M. K. Blumenthal, on behalf of the International Transport Worker’s Federation (ITF).

This is due to the company’s, alleged, continued refusal to recognise seafarers’ rights and welfare. The scope of the targeted operation will include the inspection and auditing of the Blumenthal fleet in ports around the world.

The the ITF, a global union federation of transport workers’ trade unions, will use their network of 147 globally positioned inspectors and contacts to carry out the operation.

ITF inspector and leader of the operation, Sven Hemme, commented, “ITF inspectors will be inspecting Blumenthal vessels across the globe to ensure that their crews are paid properly, adequately fed and that all of their rights are being upheld.”

“Following the detention of the Anna-Elisabeth by Australian authorities and other breaches on vessels in European ports, safeguarding the rights of seafarers working on Blumenthal ships is now the ITF Inspectorate’s number one priority,” said Hemme.

Further, the president of Blumenthal, Mattias .K. Rieth, was also invited by the ITF to work in conjunction with the global union federation to raise standards for workers across its Flag of Convenience fleet.

SAS has contacted Bluships for comment.