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Statement from Craig Tuck Trustee Slave Free Seas

Statement from Craig Tuck Trustee Slave Free Seas

August 5th 2012 6.30pm

“It is encouraging to see that at last Sanford NZ is changing its practices in relation to the management of crew on their foreign charter vessels and thus hopefully bringing with those changes compliance with NZ law. The deficiencies of the previous system may now start to be addressed.

It is concerning that no obvious attempt is being made to address the serial non-payment of crew on Sanford charter vessels over the past 5-10 years by Dong Won Fisheries.

No mention is made in their announcement of the long hours commonly worked by crew on their vessels. Recent payments to crew that appear to have been made under the new Sanford crew management system, have been prefaced upon crew working the Code of Practice minimum of 42 hours per week (6 hours per day) less deductions. Crew on equivalent NZ flagged vessels work two shifts of 6 hours each, with a total of 12 hours per day. The evidence that we have seen suggests that crews on Sanfords vessels work far longer hours than this.

Given that Sanford have publically acknowledged the deficiencies of the previous system, a full scale investigation by Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE - formerly DOL) into the past practices should be launched with a view to correcting the previous abuses of workers on these vessels and the rectification of the shortpayment of wages.

We have little confidence in the internal reviews and assessments carried out by Sanford Ltd as there is abundant evidence of long term abuse on these vessels. Third party auditing is the key to ensuring that the changes trumpeted are indeed taking place.

This release amounts to a public recognition that Sanford’s partner, Dong Won Fisheries Co Ltd have not complied with the provisions of the Fisheries Act 1996, or the Minimum Wages Act 1983 and the obvious course of action would be for Sanfords to terminate their joint venture and Dong Won should be called to account for breaches of NZ law.”


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