Ship crew of 21 hadn't been paid for two months
A 21-MAN crew that docked in Gladstone Harbour hadn't been paid for two months and was living off $3.40 a day for two weeks, according to a workers' union.
The men, from the Philippines, were transporting bauxite from Weipa to Rio Tinto QAL aboard the Japanese-owned AOM Milena.
The Observer spoke to staff at MK Shipmanagement (the company that owns the ship) at lunchtime today, but is still yet to hear from anybody in a position to comment officially.
International Transport Workers' Federation national coordinator Dean Summers said the men had fished off the ship while it was docked so they wouldn't go hungry.
"They have been running short of food since docking in Gladstone two weeks ago," he said.
"It's deplorable. The captain dove into his treasure chest and pulled out $1000 to feed the 21 men for two weeks. That works out to $3.40 which is the price of a meat pie."
He said on the ship there were buckets of fish they had caught to eat, powdered milk, and tinned home brand meat.
The ship left Gladstone Harbour on Monday.
Mr Summers doesn't believe that should have been allowed.
"You don't want to get in the way of commerce but it would've been my preference for them to stay in Gladstone until they were paid."
An AMSA spokesperson said the ship was inspected earlier this week.
"The ship owners have emailed us saying all outstanding monies will be paid (today)," the spokesperson said.
"We will receive statements that all electronic transfers of payment before they depart from their next port."
Rio Tinto is also investigating the allegations the crew was unpaid.
"We will do everything possible under our contract to ensure the crew receive their full entitlements from the operator of the ship," the spokesperson said.