POST Online Media Lite Edition



 

Fisheries death, attempted cover up, sparks Uruguayan union fury

Christian Fernsby |
The tragic death of a Peruvian fisher off the coast of Uruguay has angered the country’s Transport Workers' Union, who say the international industry’s mistreatment of workers has been ignored for too long.

Article continues below




On 2 November, the Portuguese flagged Verdemilho docked into the port of Uruguay’s capital, Montevideo. On board was a Peruvian national who died. He had been showing symptoms of coronavirus.

Adan Suarez works for the Transport Workers' Union, also based in Montevideo, and has been fighting what he says are “cruel, almost horrific” prevailing conditions for the tens of thousands of fisheries workers who come into the nation’s port to offload their catch from the South Atlantic Ocean.

“We know the crew member remained sick on board for more than 30 days, and he was not brought in for treatment. They just kept fishing,” says Suarez, who is also the ITF Contact for Uruguay.

“The captain had refused to enter the port because the sick crew member presented symptoms of coronavirus, and if the results were positive, he would have to put the vessel in quarantine. Quarantining the vessel would mean he could not continue fishing, so the captain just refused to enter the port. That’s what his shipmates tell us.”

Suarez says the Peruvian fisher may still be alive today if the captain had put the workers health above profit, and taken the sickly crew member to doctors in Montevideo.

The grim trade off is reflective of the dangerous way fisheries workers are being treated in the South Atlantic.

Suarez says when the union got ahold of the employment contracts the shipowners the operators of the Verdemilho had pushed on the crew, even they were shocked.

“There in black and white: they actually say to these workers, ‘you will work 18 to 20 hours per day, every day’, ‘you will have little rest’, ‘you will make no more than 600 dollars per month’. Crew even have to pay their own social security and health insurance,” says Suarez.

“Worst of all, they said that if a crew member is injured or sick and has to come ashore to be taken to a hospital while working on the ship, he and his family would have to pay for all of the costs. That’s what would have happened to this Peruvian boy. Instead of being supported and cared for, his employer denied him treatment and tried to take what little money he had for the crime of being ill. It’s disgusting.”

Suarez says the company even tried to cover up the death and silence the fisher’s family.

“The brother of the deceased crew member will now file a lawsuit against the company since they wanted to pay $15,000 to the daughter of the crewman in exchange for the absence of a complaint of negligence and violation of human rights.”

“As a country and a port state, Uruguay cannot become normalised to, or willfully ignore these human rights violations. This will not be done in our name,” says a visibly angry Suarez.

ITF Fisheries Coordinator, Rossen Karavatchev is disturbed by the events of the Verdemilho, but not surprised. He says the fishing grounds around the Atlantic coast of South America are a growing hotbed of exploitation and human rights abuses.

He says part of the problem in the region stems from the disputed fisheries around the Falkland Islands / Islas Malvinas.

“We have a situation where some jurisdictions are so keen to sell fishing rights, they couldn’t care less about the obvious abuse of workers happening right outside their ports. This is a multi billion dollar industry, and there’s many who are profiting from it.”

“The result of this money driven negligence has been authorities turning a blind eye to the underpayment, mistreatment, physical harm and even deaths of workers on board.”

“I wonder if consumers in Europe, Asia and North America realise the fish they eat from the South Atlantic is stained with the blood of exploited fisheries workers? The situation off the coast of West Africa is similar.”


What to read next

Uruguay's meat exports depends on China
Uruguay forecast to grow 2.5% this year
Highlights: October 19 - October 24, 2015

Excessive rainfall in Carolinas and southern Rockies; dangerous heat returned to western U.S.

 
A cool air mass arriving from central Canada is bringing a welcome relief to the heat and humidity into the northeastern quadrant of the country today.
 
 

Latest

U.S. oil rig count rose this week
Matcha launches EV charging at Brooklyn Army Terminal
Telin and BW Digital to enhance DC-to-DC connectivity with new Indonesia - Singapore cable
First major windfarm in U.S. shut after incident

NEWS

Microsoft outage causes businesses from America to Australia to stop working

U.S. Senator Bob Menendez found guilty in corruption case
Heavy rainfall along U.S. eastern seaboard; dangerous heat wave shifting
U.S.: Dangerous heatwave
Severe thunderstorms across portions of U.S. Central Plains and Mississippi Valley; heat continues in Southern Plains
New Delhi airport roof collapses under heavy rain
 

BUSINESS

EIB: New agreement to provide additional €2bn to reconstruction of areas hit by central Italian earthquake

Los Angeles to begin work on film sound stage and production studio campus
U.S. drillers cut oil and gas rigs to 584
Scotland secured record inward investment in 2023
Chinese seaport cities register soaring output of port economy in 2023
U.S. bankruptcies in June hit record high since 2020
 

Trending Now

Matcha launches EV charging at Brooklyn Army Terminal

Answer the phone, resident

Sign says Nashville Tennessee

Guadalajara, a city of flowers and fountains


POLITICS

Slovenia considers diversifying its natural gas supply by importing from Azerbaijan

EU to invest record 7 bln euros into sustainable transport infrastructure
Attorney General Ken Paxton stops Biden’s ban on liquified natural gas exports
Germany to cut Huawei, ZTE parts in 5G network from 2026
North Macedonia to take 500 million euros loan from Hungary
Under Secretary Fernandez travels to Japan and Indonesia
 

Today We Recommend

EU to invest record 7 bln euros into sustainable transport infrastructure


Highlights 

EssilorLuxottica to buy Supreme Brand for $1.5 billion

Darden Restaurants to acquire Chuy's Holdings, Inc. in approximately $605 million transaction

Ericsson Q2 sales down but North America up


COMPANIES

UK: Ford white collar dispute worsens as over 1,200 office staff ballot for strike

EssilorLuxottica to buy Supreme Brand for $1.5 billion
E.ON and MAN Truck & Bus partner to establish Europe’s largest public charging network for electric trucks
Darden Restaurants to acquire Chuy's Holdings, Inc. in approximately $605 million transaction
Major funding secured for RWE’s hydrogen projects in Germany
APM Terminals Suape advances sustainable port operations with major investment in all-electric handling equipment
 

CAREERS

Africa Finance Corporation appoints executive director, financial services

Lindemann Metal Recycling: Markus Tandel named head of procurement and aftermarket
Travis Leonard joins Lockton as CFO
African Development Bank appoints director of statistics department
Azentio expands its leadership team with two new appointments
Afreximbank announces board changes
 

ECONOMY

Eurozone reports modest Q1 GDP growth, stable annual inflation

Italy sees faster economic growth in Q1
Slovenia's economy expected to grow 0.9 pct in Q1
Italy faces deficit infringement procedure
Real GDP increased in all 50 U.S. states
Inflation continues to decline in Germany
 

EARNINGS

Ericsson Q2 sales down but North America up

Lockton revenue $3.55 billion
Motorcar Parts of America Q4 sales $189.5 million
Limoneira Q2 revenue $44.6 million
Lululemon athletica Q1 revenue increased 10% to $2.2 billion
PVH Q1 GAAP EBIT $205 million
 

OP-ED

Micromanaging is the worst enemy of efficiency and teamwork

Niger set to monetize massive gas reserves through Saharan natural gas pipeline
Putting the brakes on EV folly that choked the market
Oil discovery in Kavango Basin may mean huge benefits for Namibians
Cape Town and Dubai battle over Africa's energy future
Is America going to lose its superpower status?
 

AGRIFISH

Hong Kong suspends import of poultry meat, products from some areas in U.S.

Mozambican farmers to get $2 million fertilizer financing boost
Canada and Alberta supporting Alberta Beef Producers
EU allocates €77 million in emergency support to farmers in Austria, Czechia, Poland and Portugal
Brazil opened its market for Australian mutton and lamb
Hong Kong suspends import of poultry meat and products from areas in Australia and U.S.
 

LEADERSHIP

Study finds workers misjudge wage markets

Some organizations may need to expand their hierarchical structures earlier than others
Study finds there's right way and wrong way to deliver negative feedback in workplace
Allyship is critical and its needs appreciation
Generating 'buzz' about new products can influence their success
Hiring 'problem directors' can knock up to 64% off firm's value
 

CRIME

Italy issues $6.4 million fine over Chinese cars badged as Italian

EU Commission fines Mondelēz €337.5 million for cross-border trade restrictions
HSBC pays penalties for alleged breaches of Consumer Data Right rules
Sanofi to settle thousands of Zantac cancer lawsuits
Former asset manager and board member of Geneva private bank referred to Swiss Federal Criminal Court
South Africa: SAP ordered to pay SIU $26m over 'invalid' Eskom contracts
 

Magazine

TRAVEL

Radisson Hotel Group debuts in the heart of Tunisia’s capital city, Tunis

Morocco’s first Radisson branded hotel opens in Casablanca
Buna channels, an unreal and beautiful part of Bosnia and Herzegovina
JW Marriott unveils Mindful Haven with opening of JW Marriott Hotel Nairobi
Sotheby's Sports Week returns with fantastic artifacts
Red Roof properties open in Michigan
 

SEA, LAND, AIR

Citroën C3 Aircross, the most affordable compact SUV with 7 seats

2025 Chevrolet Equinox stands apart with fresh looks and capability
Hill Helicopters HX50, luxury in the sky
Opel Movano becomes fully equipped camper van
Porsche Panamera, new hybrid variants
Dodge Charger, 670 horsepower of electric
 

DESIGN

Cold night, hot fire pit, cool entertainment

Embellish your home with PVC panels
You'll have to hurry if you want one of 20 new Louis Vuitton watches
Luxury duvet looks good, fells good and keeps you healthy
Vacheron Constantin, watches for life and more
Schüller kitchens, where functionality marries design
 

GADGETS

MESA/Boogie Celebrates 40-year partnership with John Petrucci

reMarkable 2, monochrome tablet for your thoughts and your eyes
OnePlus Ace 3V, first with Snapdragon 7 Plus Gen 3
ASUS Zenfone 11 Ultra, flagship with a reason
Samsung Galaxy S24 is photography powerhouse
Casette tapes are making a big comeback, and so are portable players
 

HEALTH

New Alzheimer's treatment approved by FDA

UK introduced new pregnancy prevention measures for topiramate (Topamax)
UK: People with HIV can now donate eggs or sperm to start family
EU health watchdog urges vaccinations to stem surge in Whooping Cough cases
Brazil resumes insulin production after two decades
India launches first home-grown gene therapy for cancer
 

MEANTIME

Exoplanet-hunting telescope to begin search for another Earth in 2026

India to build first phase of its own space station by 2028
Roscosmos chief approves schedule of creating Russian orbital station through 2033
Potentially habitable 'exo-Venus' with Earth-like temperature discovered
Rare species of wild bees discovered in Berlin
SLAC completes construction of largest digital camera ever built for astronomy