FOC Ship, Held Without Pay and Food Deliveries, Receives ITF Assistance (5/4)

 

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The crew of a flag-of-convenience ship that was held up at anchor off the coast of Great Britain for weeks has finally been paid their back wages and delivered fresh food, thanks to the efforts of the International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF). The ITF is a global labor federation whose affiliates include the SIU.

 

Below is a press release announcing the victory. The photo shows stores being delivered to the runaway-flag ship.

 

Leon Crew Fed and Paid

 

The Russian and Ukrainian crew of the Liberian registered tanker Leon, which has been stuck at anchor outside the Port of Hull since 20th April, finally received their owed wages and fresh food provisions on Wednesday following the intervention of the ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation).

 

The crew had refused to sail the vessel until the Greek owners, Roswell Tankers Corp of Athens, had paid all outstanding wages owed from January and had provided food and water to replenish exhausted supplies.

 

“The crew had not eaten any fresh food – such as fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, and so on – for a number of weeks and were left with no option but to seek our assistance to have this rectified,” said Nautilus/ITF Inspector Tommy Molloy.

 

Molloy was on board the vessel this week to oversee the arrival of food provisions by tugboat and to verify wages had been paid. Eleven of the crew had originally asked to be repatriated to their homes from Hull. But following yesterday’s developments six of the crew agreed to stay on board until the next port, believed to be Kaliningrad in Russia.

 

Five crew were replaced yesterday, including the Chief Engineer who should have been repatriated on medical grounds following a visit to the doctor in Poland. “He had complained of constant stomach pains on 1st April and saw the doctor on 4th April. Documentation shows that the doctor had recommended he should return home to Kiev for prolonged treatment. But the company neglected to repatriate him from Poland and continued to ignore the situation when the vessel arrived at Hull,” said Molloy. “Hopefully, he will now get the treatment he ought to have had a month ago.”

 

He continued: “Two surveyors attended the vessel on behalf of the Liberian Flag Administration and we await the outcome of their report with interest.”

 

Molloy says that although this can be considered a successful outcome the ITF will keep a watchful eye on the vessel and the wellbeing of the crew.

 

“The fact that the ITF has to get involved to ensure that a company like this meets its basic obligations towards its crew is appalling. We should not have to remind them of the right of seafarers to receive their wages at the end of every month and the right to decent quality food. I genuinely hope we don’t have to remind them again.”

 

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