“…The widows of Indonesian fishermen who died when a Korean boat sank in New Zealand waters in 2010 have finally received compensation –
- not from the vessel’s owners or insurers – but from the taxpayer-funded Accident Compensation Corporation.
For some of them, the ACC payment amounts to seven times what they earn in a year.
So far South Korea’s Sajo Oyang Corporation, owners of the 38-year-old trawler Oyang 70, have done nothing for the families of five Indonesians killed when the vessel sank in 2010 in calm waters 740km off the Otago coast.
Tomorrow, Wellington coroner Richard McElrea will begin an inquest into the sinking and the deaths of six men – Indonesians Samsuri, Taefur and Heru Yuniarto, whose bodies were recovered; and Tarmidi and Ha’arais, and Korean skipper Hyonki Shin (aka Shin Hyeon Gi), whose bodies were never found.
The deaths of the Indonesian men – who had often been beaten and forced to work for days without rest while earning between $260 and $460 a month – left their families bereft.
University of Auckland Business School researcher Glenn Simmons interviewed Oyang survivors and family of the dead for last year’s report Not in New Zealand’s waters, surely?-
- which detailed human rights and labour abuses aboard foreign charter vessels.
After the sinking, one of the widows, known as “Eula”, worked as a cleaner in Jakarta, earning $4 a day.
She went to see the agent who hired her husband because there was insurance and back-pay that would have made a difference to her young child.
“They said her husband’s insurance money has not come from the Korean agent – and if you want to get insurance money, you must sleep with the director of the agency for a few days,” a friend of Eula’s told Simmons…”
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