7 Oct 2008

Kiribati company says a few ruin reputation of many

2:38 pm on 7 October 2008

A Kiribati company recruiting for overseas shipping companies insists that just a few I-Kiribati seamen are ruining the reputation of others who are hardworking and reliable.

This comes after the international shipping firm Columbus Line has announced it will stop hiring I-Kiribati seamen in future, after three men were caught drug smuggling in the port of Philadelphia in August.

The manager of South Pacific Marine Services Peter Lange says he has about one thousand seamen on his books.

He says overall they are good skilled workers and most do abide by strict contractual conditions and the law.

"It's only those people who decide not to comply with the contract conditions, spoiling at the end their reputation - there are very few who do this - spoiling the reputation of the seamen, of the Kiribati and Tuvalu seamen. That's very disappointing."

Peter Lange says the three drug smugglers are in a United States jail awaiting a court hearing.