Who gives a hoot in Manila about maritime cadet exploitation?
I first wrote about the use of Filipino cadets as unpaid office workers and servants in September 2013. I was hoping that the article would draw the attention of the powers that be to this form of exploitation. I even entertained the idea that the maritime press in Manila would pick up the story and delve into the matter. Nothing of the sort happened.
Feeling quite dismayed, I stayed away from the subject until 2019, when I came up with four blog posts in a bid to revive the whole issue. Except for strong reactions from some seafarers on social media, my message seemed to fall on deaf ears. But how could it be otherwise?
In this part of the planet, manning agencies and some unions consider it perfectly normal to use cadets as unpaid labour, in many cases for months on end. The seafarer charities are aware of the practice, but none has come out to publicly condemn it. As for local maritime journalists, many would rather kiss ass than take up the cudgels for the cadets who are exploited in such blatant manner.
For those interested, here are the articles on the subject that have appeared in this blog:
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