Crew of FOC Ship Wins Two-Year Fight Over Unpaid Wages
A claim to secure wages owed to the Ukrainian and Russian crewmembers on a flag-of-convenience (FOC) vessel under detention in Liverpool for more than two years was settled as 2013 came to a close, thanks to the intervention of the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF).
The crew received a total of $75,000 in back wages, plus repatriation expenses.
The case began after the Antigua-and-Barbuda-registered DYCKBURG was stopped in Birkenhead, U.K., in September 2011 when a coast guard inspection discovered 17 deficiencies, including problems with safety management and life-saving and firefighting equipment. The story was reported in Nautilus Telegraph, the magazine of the British, Dutch and Swiss maritime officers’ union.
“It has been a difficult and long wait for the crew,” said Tommy Molloy, the Nautilus/ITF inspector who worked on the case. “The ship arrived in Liverpool in September 2011, under tow because of serious engine failure, and by Christmas that year we repatriated the crew at ITF expense pending settlement.”
Molloy had lodged a protest with the Ukrainian ambassador to the United Kingdom after uncovering evidence that the mariners had been threatened for seeking the wages they were owed and asking to be repatriated. “No employee should have to wait two years for wages legitimately earned,” Molloy said.
Source: International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots, http://www.bridgedeck.org/mmp_news.html#inThisIssue5