Home International Maritime ITF Raises Alarm Over Abandonment Of Seafarers By Saudi Arabian Shipping Company

ITF Raises Alarm Over Abandonment Of Seafarers By Saudi Arabian Shipping Company

By Roland Ekama

The International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) has expressed concerns over the abandonment of seafarers by Hadi H Al Hamman Establishment. .

According to ITF on its official Facebook Page on Wednesday, about eight vessels belonging to the Saudi Arabian company has failed to provide food for crew and has not paid seafarers for more than five months in some cases.

The ITF expressed fears of an escalating problem across the company’s 35 ships and has added Hadi H Al Hamman Establishment to the Seafarers’ Breach of Rights Index – a new index that lists those who deny and abuse seafarers’ basic human and trade union rights.

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The ITF stated that it has already contacted Gard, which provides financial security for these ships pointing out that in cases of abandonment, this type of insurance should pay seafarers up to four months of lost pay and cover the costs of getting them home

The statement reads below:

“URGENT – PLEASE SHARE: Seafarers across many vessels are struggling to survive after being abandoned by a Saudi Arabian company.

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“The ITF has received many concerning reports about withheld pay from individual seafarers working on eight ships owned by Hadi H Al Hamman Establishment. The ships are Bahrain flagged – which has not ratified the MLC.

“The company has not paid seafarers for more than five months in some cases. One seafarer reported dangerously low levels of food, water and fuel:

“Until now I didn’t receive any salary [for 5 months] and I would like to inform you we have shortages of food and fuel all the time, we are suffering all the time… Please I need your support”

“The ITF fears an escalating problem across the company’s 35 ships and has added Hadi H Al Hamman Establishment to the Seafarers’ Breach of Rights Index – a new index that lists those who deny and abuse seafarers’ basic human and trade union rights.

The ITF has contacted Gard, which provides financial security for these ships. In cases of abandonment, this type of insurance should pay seafarers up to four months of lost pay and cover the costs of getting them home.

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Unfortunately, it is normal for seafarers to remain without pay while such a dispute remains unresolved.

“We would like to hear from any seafarer who has not already been in touch with the ITF on board vessels HADI 22, 23, 24, 26, 27, 33, 35, 38, 44, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51 or 54, or who has pay issue with Hadi Al Hamman or subsidiary companies. Email us in complete confidence at seafwelfare@itf.org.uk

ITF have recently launched a list showing shipping companies and individuals that deny and abuse seafarers’ basic human and trade union rights.

The International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) had released its figures for the numbers of vessels abandoned in 2023 which show a worrying increase on figures from the previous year.

Seafarers are deemed to have been abandoned if the shipowner fails to cover the cost of a seafarer’s repatriation; or has left them without the necessary maintenance and support; or has otherwise unilaterally severed ties with them, including their failure to pay the seafarers’ contractual wages for a period of at least two months.

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Key findings showed:

– The ITF reported 129 of the 132 abandonment cases in 2023
– Owed wages from these 129 cases are in excess of $12.1 million.
– 1,676 seafarers contacted ITF from abandoned vessels.
– Indian seafarers were the most abandoned, with more than 400 cases.

ITF received more than $10.9 million in owed wages from 60 of these vessels so far. The final figure will exceed $12.1 million as cases take time to resolve and as other seafarers come forward, thereby increasing the amount of recoverable wages.

The ongoing rise in the number of seafarer abandonments is unacceptable. If you are a seafarer who are at risk of abandonment, please contact ITF Seafarers’ Support immediately.