An Indian offshore vessel owned by GOL Offshore was seized in Aberdeen Wednesday morning by port authorities. RMT called this a “blatant example of modern day slavery.”
Allegedly, the decision was made as a means of collecting payment for 15 Indian nationals who have been working on the vessel but have not gotten paid for their services for several months. RMT has reason to believe these owners/brokers are effectively implementing modern day slavery with their charters in oil and gas, stating a second vessel in the port of Great Yarmouth is more than likely a victim as well.
The vessel detained was recently contracted for the UK offshore sector, working for and servicing UK ports. Despite these contracts, the workers would not be getting what they are worth, earning around $2 US dollars per hour, “less than a fifth of the UK National Minimum Wage provisions,” says RMT.
General Secretary Mick Cash of RMT said: “The seizure of this vessel exposes the scandal of modern day slavery on our ships right at the heart of the UK’s oil capital, Aberdeen. It also exposes the shameful practices in the exploitation of our natural resources, practices that must be outlawed and regulated against immediately. These ships of shame are a blatant abuse of migrant workers and are contrary to any number of stated industry and government objectives around Human Rights and Maximising Economic Recovery from our resources.
Additionally, it is a catalyst for the dumping of UK seafarers, many thousands of whom are now drawing benefit from the state. In the week where the former Chief of BP, Trevor Garlick, is awarded an OBE for his services to the industry we have to ask if those “services” included the introduction of slave labor practices to our country.”
Article written by HEI contributor Marcela Abarca.