A Brazilian labor court ordered the payment of fines, wages, overtime and "moral damages" to eleven (11) crew of the MSC Magnifica after finding that they had been subjected to working conditions similar to "slaves." You can read the order here.
According to Defonsoria Publica Da Uniao, in 2014 eleven crew members were "rescued" from the MSC cruise ship and alleged to have been forced to work up to 16 hours a day and were subjected to abuse and sexual harassment. We wrote about these allegations in April of 2014.
The testimony of a number of crew members was taken and indicated that other Brazilian crew members reaffirmed what was described as "appalling" working conditions on the MSC cruise ship.
In a blockbuster order, the labor court determined that crew members during contracts between eight to 12 months duration, the MSC crew members were required to work excessive hours and were mistreated. In addition to suffering intense bullying, the stewards and waiters had to work excessive daily hours (13-16 hours a day) without the right to adequate rest.
One Brazilian newspaper explained the plight of a MSC room steward from São Paulo who was bullied. Even working up to 18 hours straight, the crew member was called "lazy and a slut."
The labor court awarded R$ 330,000 to the eleven crew members.
Photo credit: Globo / Henrique Mendes / G1
Article credit: OVC – Organização de Vítimas de Cruzeiros
MSC Cruises denies that it engaged in any wrongful conduct and says that it intends to appeal the labor court’s decision. Read MSC’s full statement at the end of this article.