Red Listing Philippines-Based Manning Agent ‘Able Maritime’ First Step to Stopping Seafarer Exploitation

The Inspectorate of the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) has red listed Able Maritime Seafarers Inc after the crewing agent failed to respond to official enquiries from the ITF about the diabolical pay and terrible conditions of seafarers the company placed in work.

A flood of new allegations against the Philippines-based manning agent have emerged as a result of publicity generated by the ITF’s questions, raised publicly last month.

The ITF is working closely with the Philippines Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) which regulates manning agencies in the country, to find out what went wrong in the cases where it seems Able Maritime have failed to prevent of Filipino seafarers from being exploited, and in cases where they did not adequately support the seafarers nominally in their care to get help and return safely home.

“Since we raised the plight of seafarers placed in jobs by Able Maritime in Fiji, Malta and on Chinese-flagged fishing boats in the Indian Ocean, the families of more than 30 other seafarers have been in touch,” said Steve Trowsdale, ITF Inspectorate Coordinator. “They want to know what has happened to pay that Able Maritime owes them and their loved ones, in some cases for amounts worth more than seven months’ wages.”

The ITF runs a directory of manning agencies as part of its website. By red listing Able Maritime on this site,

t is telling seafarers to avoid using the agency when seeking work. It is also serves as a warning to ship operators and regulators internationally.

“We haven’t taken this step lightly,” said Trowsdale. “But the weight of evidence against Able Maritime is overwhelming and the agency refuses to engage in any dialogue about how it might put right the suffering it has caused by placing seafarers in poorly paid and often dangerous work.”