Monday, 7 April 2014

MSC denies accusations of 'slave-like' staff conditions

MSC denies accusations of 'slave-like' staff conditions

MSC denies accusations of 'slave-like' staff conditions
MSC Cruises has rejected allegations by Brazilian police that staff were kept in "slave-like" conditions on its ship MSC Magnifica.
Brazilian officials said they "rescued" 11 crew members in the northeastern city of Salvador, where the ship was docked for the day on April 1.
They claimed staff were forced to work for up to 16 hours a day. Some were alleged to have been victims of sexual harassment, reported the BBC.
MSC said in a statement:  "After reviewing thousands of pages of documentation and conducting hundreds of interviews with crew members, Labour Ministry inspectors went on board MSC Magnifica on April 1 and alleged irregularities in the working conditions of 13 crew members, and invited them to disembark.
"MSC Crociere is in full compliance with national and international labour regulations and is ready to cooperate with the authorities."
The company said it had not received "any evidence or legal notification" from the Brazilian Labour Ministry.
The operation came at the end of a month-long investigation, following a tip-off from crew members on Magnifica.
The labour ministry identified 13 staff who had allegedly been submitted to slave-like conditions.
Two of them refused to leave the vessel and decided to carry on working, while the other 11 were taken to a hotel in Salvador. 
MSC Cruises ships operating in Brazilian waters employ a total of 4,181 crew members, of whom 1,243 are Brazilians. 
The line said its four ships operating in Brazil during the 2013-14 season had passed "intensive and repeated" inspections by the Brazilian Labour Ministry.