Flags of Convenience Global Mariner

Halifax, N.S.


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Flags of Convenience Global Mariner
dated September 25, 1998

Flags of Convenience Global Mariner
Halifax, N.S. 

Thousands of seafarers are dying each year due to horrendous working conditions on ships flying "Flags of Convenience".

Larry Wark
CAW National Rep. Halifax N.S.
"It's very clear when you take a look at all the statistics that the ITF has put together, just how these large shipping magnates avoid the taxes of their nation, and avoid paying decent wages and providing safe conditions of employment on these boats by simply going to nations that have no rules."

The CAW and the International Transport Worker's Federation have combined forces to bring public pressure on governments to eliminate this abuse of seafarers.

Larry Wark
CAW National Rep. Halifax N.S.
"There has got to be an international regulatory body that says that this is the minimum, it doesn't matter where you go to hide, that is the minimum that you owe to people who spend their lives on the sea."

To increase public awareness of the exploitation of seafarers on board "Flags of Convenience", the ITF ship "Global Mariner" is on a world tour. It arrives in Halifax Nova Scotia October 3rd and will be open to the public for four days.

Larry Wark
CAW National Rep. Halifax N.S.
"It is trying to bring a public awareness, that the public has an understanding of what a seafarer life on the high seas is like. What are the rules that govern their lives and why so many of these people when they get to ports of call will skip a ship and look for refuge in a country. When you really start to take a look, I believe last year alone 2,200 seafarers, now that's an awful lot of people, died at sea. There's a problem out there."

Large shipping magnates use flags of convenience from tiny nations such as Cyprus to dodge taxes and exploit seafarers. Wark says the awareness campaign against flags of convenience is aimed at getting the public to put pressure on Ottawa.

Larry Wark
CAW National Rep. Halifax N.S.
"It requires political will not only of the Canadian government but governments everywhere to take a look and really become more understanding and more knowledgeable of what is going on, on the high seas around the world. Obviously for CAW members right across this country; I realize if you are living in an auto factory town in Ontario and Quebec, you won't be as familiar with this subject as someone living in ports with standing piers or by the ocean. But obviously at the end of the day an injustice to one is an injustice to all."

Wark believes that provided with the right information the CAW members from coast to coast will support a campaign to pressure the federal government for changes.




CAW "Fighting Back Makes a Difference."


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