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Union Opens Ship for Display

March 06, 1999

An international transportation union will hold an open house this weekend aboard the Global Mariner, a cargo ship that has been modified to carry graphic displays of poor working conditions in the maritime industry.

The ship, which is docked at Berth 53 in the Port of Los Angeles, belongs to the International Transport Workers' Federation, a London-based organization that represents more than 500 unions around the world.

On an 18-month tour, the Global Mariner is a seagoing educational campaign that highlights the labor and safety problems caused by substandard ships registered to flags of convenience.

The vessel's interior has been altered to allow the public into its holds and through the hull. Dramatic displays about life aboard ship are now located where goods used to be stored.

"We don't carry cargo anymore. We carry something more important," said Capt. Dave Enever. "We carry a message of hope."

The Global Mariner used to be the Lady Rebecca, a substandard vessel once registered in Hong Kong, a flag of convenience. The federation purchased the vessel a year ago to refurbish and use in its worldwide crusade.

The Global Mariner will be open to the public today and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tours are free and last about an hour.

To reach the vessel, take the Harbor Freeway to Gaffey Street in San Pedro. Proceed on Gaffey to 22nd Street and turn left. Go to Minor Street and turn right. Berth 53 is about a quarter-mile down the road.

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