Australian unions have raised an outcry over the treatment of a large group of crewmembers on board two vessels, who are reportedly severely ill, and are being forced by their employers to continue working.

The Australian Manufacturers Workers Union is calling attention towards the poor working conditions and ill-treatment of workers on the 2 vessels. The Java Constructor construction support barge and the Geocean Kalinda pipelay barge are currently engaged in work on the Gorgon liquefied natural gas project. The vessels are engaged in the installation of the pipeline. The 2 vessels are owned by Sea Trucks Australia and SapuraClough.

There are apparently approximately 150 crew members currently working on both of these barges. Out of these, approximately 50 crew members are reported to be ill. There is little information about exactly what kind of illness these crew members have suffered.

According to the Austrian Manufacturers Workers Union, these ill crewmembers are still being forced to work by their employees, and operations on both of the barges are continuing as usual, even though so many of the crewmembers are in no condition to work. Among the crewmembers are medics on board the vessels, as well as caterers. This means that conditions on the vessels are extremely poor, because there are limited numbers of medical and catering personnel to take care of crew members’ medical and nutritional needs.

The Australian Manufacturers Workers Union alleges that these companies have behaved disgracefully in allowing living conditions on the vessels to reach such a bad state. The Union also alleges that the 2 companies have been extremely negligent in the kind of care that they are giving workers.

The Houston maritime lawyers at Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P., Accident & Injury Lawyers  represent persons injured in maritime accidents in the Gulf of Mexico and across the country.