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Myanmar: Sailors complain of abuses on ship; Pinoy seamen also on board

Sailors complain of abuses on ship
Zaw Zaw Htwe 27 Aug 2019" width="500".
A group of Myanmar sailors complained on Wednesday of poor accommodations, food and safety standards when they worked on a foreign ship.

Identifying the Panama-flagged vessel as the Gold Eagle, which is currently docked in Vietnam, one of the sailors, Ko Hla Myo Kyaw, said, “We wouldn’t be compensated by an insurance company if we had accident, because we were not provided with safety equipment on the vessel.”

They also said they were not provided adequate accommodations on the ship, and that they had to bunk in rooms without air conditioning.

They said they had to buy their own drinking water as the tap water was rusty, and there were no fresh meals on board.

“Able seamen are used to hard work, but we were not fed enough after finishing our duties. The Myanmar sailors were not fed as well as the other crew members,” another sailor, Ko Kyaw Min Thu, said.

He said the Myanmar sailors were assigned overtime work cleaning the cargo without pay, while Chinese sailors were paid for working overtime.

They had reported the poor conditions to the ship’s chief officers and their recruitment agencies, but their complaints have not been answered, one sailor said.

Myanmar sailors were also given contaminated food and too little rice.

“We were not fed enough. They didn’t even give us a chicken egg when we had no meals,” seafarer Ko Hla Myo Kyaw said.

However, Myanmar maritime recruiter Ink Marine, which hired one of the Myanmar seamen on the Gold Eagle, told The Myanmar Times on Wednesday that none of the other workers on the ship had complained.

Director Hein Htet Soe of the Department of Seaman Employment Control also said on Thursday there had been no complaints or reports from Myanmar seafarers on the ship.

There are 19 sailors, including 5 from Myanmar and 3 from the Philippines, on board the Gold Eagle.