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A report from Inspector Burrells of the International Transport Worker’s Federation in relation to the ship Cavalier Express, docking at Liverpool 03/04/2019.

Reason for inspection-

I had heard reports from other ships docking nearby that the ship, Cavalier Express, had stopped at port but none of the crew appeared to be disembarking. One witness described seeing one of the sailors who looked “very green and haggard”. Cavalier Express appeared to be in somewhat poor condition and in light of the reports an inspection was warranted.


As soon as I stepped aboard the ship I knew that the crew were victims of exploitation. The ship, to all appearances, seemed to be in working order, with a few minor safety concerns, but once I began a more thorough investigation it became clear that the Cavalier Express had a number of serious issues. There was no longer any drinkable water on board the ship and according to subsequent interviews with the crew they had been forced at times to drink seawater. A doctor took them for a medical examination and reported that the crew were suffering from dehydration and malnourishment. Much of the food on board was out of date and the bread had clear signs of mould. Interviews with the crew also revealed that most of the workers had not been paid for as long as 6 months. Others were being paid as little as 0.85 dollars an hour far below the wage stated in their contracts. Upon further investigation I also discovered that some crew members had to pay thousands of dollars towards supposed training and certificates which were never provided. I found all of these conditions to be completely unacceptable.

Recommended Action-

Make contact with the owner of the ship and order compensation to be paid. Salaries that were unpaid over the last months must be paid back. The crew must be bought flights home and allowed immediate release from their contracts and any affiliation with their employer. A further financial penalty, to be considered, must be imposed upon the owner for failing to meet International Transport Worker’s employment standards. More legislation must be implemented to prevent the exploitation of workers in the shipping industry.

Gill Jaggers

Marketing Manager