THE International Transport Workers Federation has criticised mining giant BHP for working conditions on board a bulker at Hay Point coal terminal near Mackay.

According to the ITF, a seafarer aboard the bulker Villa Deste (IMO 9835941) contacted them saying they had received no onboard wages and were being fed on a $4 food budget per day.

“BHP told media today that the vessel was not chartered by the company, but it is BHP coal being sold and loaded onto the Ville Deste,” said ITF national inspector Dean Summers.

“To now claim that they have no responsibility for the conditions onboard these vessel when they arrive at their port, to load their coal, demonstrates an extraordinary failure to uphold basic ethical standards in their global supply chain.”

Villa Deste was launched last year and is flagged in Liberia. It is owned by Greek company Evalend Shipping Company.

BHP has been approached for comment.

The ITF has previously contacted the Department of Home Affairs about BHP’s denial of grant access for ITF inspectors to inspect ships at Hay Point.

“We call on the Minister to immediately intervene in his Department’s maladministration and facilitate our inspectors access to the Villa Deste to answer the seafarers’ urgent call for help,” Mr Summers said.

Labour unions remain angry at BHP for having opted to no longer use Australian-crewed ships in moving iron ore from Port Hedland to Port Kembla.