Slave Ship? Brazilian Police Board MSC Magnifica after Crew Members Complain of Long Hours, Abuse, Intimidation & Sexual Harassment
The BBC reports that Brazilian police boarded a MSC cruise ship and rescued 11 crew members working in "slave-like conditions."
Brazilian officials say that the 11 crew members were forced to work up to 16 hours a day on the MSC Magnifica. Some of the crew members were subjected to sexual harassment.
The Brazilian authorities have been investigating the labor abuses for the past month, following a tip-off from MSC crew members.
"The fact that they had signed a contract, even an international contract, does not mean that the basic human rights should not be respected," Labor Ministry director Alexandre Lyra said.
A publication in Brazil contains additional details of the working conditions. The Blog Do Sakamoto talks of exhaustive work on the MSC cruise ship with stories of abuse, bullying and fraudulent time recording.
"We have no doubt that it is slave labor," said Alexandre Lyra, head of Brazil's Division of Surveillance for the Eradication of Slave Labor.
You can see two statements of the working conditions written by MSC crew members here.
Another newspaper in Brazil reported that crew members were subjected to racism and homophobic threats and taunts.
MSC issued a statement denying everything.
In December and March, we posted videos and photos of MSC dumping garbage bags into the sea off the coast of Brazil from the MSC Magnifica. If the recent allegations are true, it seems that MSC treats its employees worse than the sea it pollutes.
Photo Credit: Reporter Brazil