The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) arrested the ship Malaviya Seven on behalf of its crew on Wednesday. The ITF says the vessel’s owners have effectively abandoned the crew in Aberdeen, Scotland.
The vessel has been detained by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency at the ITF’s request after a routine inspection revealed that 15 of the Indian crew had gone unpaid for four months. The Malaviya Seven, and her sister ship, the Malaviya Twenty, are OSVs owned by GOL Offshore.
ITF inspector Liam Wilson said: “We have reached a point where the only way that these men are going to get home with the money they are due is to help them arrest the ship, and we have now taken that move. We anticipate that within the next, say, 12 to 16 weeks, the ship will be sold and what is owed to them recovered from the sale price. This would replicate the experience of the Seven’s sister ship, the Malaviya Twenty, which was detained in Great Yarmouth, and where we were pleased to be able to help the crew home, with their pay, last month.”
“We’ve been helping these men since the beginning, particularly with their basic needs such as food and water, while working to recover the money that is due to them. I’d like to thank the local community and seafarers’ welfare organizations for their support too.”
The crew of the Malaviya have been given warm clothes and provisions by Apostleship of the Sea, and spent Christmas day with parishioners of St Joseph’s Church.
ITF UK and Ireland coordinator Ken Fleming said: “To say that workers are owed $666,938.03 is in itself a scandal. The owners and the Indian flag state should hang their head in shame. Equally all those that could have brought the situation to an end months ago should reflect on their inactivity.
“The ITF will now deal aggressively with the situation,” he said. “Should the company or the bank not come in on record by early next week, we will apply to the courts to dispose of the vessel by way of a sale to recover the crew wages. The situation will not be allowed to drag unnecessarily.”