Indonesian fishermen protesting unpaid wages from NZ company


Sean Murphy, SeafoodSource online editor

Published on
May 15, 2015

Legal procedures began this week by Indonesian fishermen working for Sanford, one of New Zealand’s largest fishing companies, after they walked off the job in 2013 protesting unpaid wages.

According to an article from, 53 fishermen walked off their vessel at the time, claiming the company owed them approximately NZD 2.6 million (USD 1.9 million, EUR 1.7 million) in unpaid wages.

Sanford has argued that since they chartered the boats but did not operate them, the workers’ grievance was with Juahm Industries, the company that actually employed the workers. The workers’ lawyer said Sanford’s charter should make it the legal guarantor of wages.

Legal hurdles, including determining who was allowed to represent the workers, kept the case delayed in court for more than a year, but now proceedings are under way.

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