Friday, January 31, 2014

Flag Registry and Union Pressure Finally Results in Freighter Crew Pay Out

Stranded Sailors at Last Look to be Going Home
Shipping News Feature

UK – Some good news at last for the crew of the M/S Isis, stranded at Tilbury, the crew unpaid for months and getting more desperate by the day as we reported last week. Following legal action by the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) to seize the freighter the operators, Derna Carriers, have placed $132,000 with the UK agent to make good the crew’s claim for wages to the end of December.

This still left repatriation costs and January wages outstanding and the ITF set a deadline of noon on Wednesday for payment of these. The company is now making this payment and the crew will be paid later today (Friday January 31). The ITF reports it has suspended arrest of the ship, but will be watching closely how the company handles the repatriation. ITF UK and Ireland coordinator Ken Fleming commented:

“The ship’s flag state, the Marshall Islands register, has been supportive of the efforts to see the crew receive what is owed to them, and deserve recognition for it. I would also like to applaud the International Maritime Employers’ Council (IMEC) for its clear and frank position that this is not the kind of behaviour it expects from a shipowner and that seafarers should not have to go without pay.”

The Marshall Islands Register has just reached its own milestone with the announcement this week that, with the registration of the two Scorpio tankers STI Duchessa and STI Opera, the total tonnage registered in the islands will pass the 100 million mark. Bill Gallagher, President of International Registries Incorporated (IRI), a Washington DC based outfit that administers the registry on behalf of the island authorities remarked:

“Our intent has not been to be the largest Registry in the world, but instead the choice of flag for quality owners and operators. While reaching 100 million gross tonnes is truly a milestone for the Registry, we will not rest on our past successes, we will continue to innovate and be proactive in our pursuit of excellence. From the dedicated personnel in the Registry and together with my partners, Tony Guida and Clay Maitland, we thank our owners, operators and other industry stakeholders for their loyalty and support over the years in building a quality Registry.”