Port Wings News Network:
The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) has announced that the 11 crew of the Panamanian flagged ‘Agean Princess’ have finally been able to return home to India and Myanmar, after a dispute between their ships operator and owner saw them held in Ajman, United Arab Emirates, for 17 months. However, the crew are still owed hundreds of thousands of dollars of unpaid wages. ITF inspector, Mohamed Arrachedi, has been helping the crew since they were abandoned in June 2016.
Mohamed Arrachedi stated: “This has been a difficult case, and in the end we were helped to conclude it by UAE Federal Transport Authority [FTA]. The ITF and the FTA have been working closely to end abandonment in UAE waters, and these seafarers have seen the benefit of this. As the UAE moves towards fully complying with the Maritime Labour Convention all seafarers will enjoy the greater protection they deserve when working there.”
“In this case we also had the cooperation of the flag state of the vessel – Panama – that helped to resolve the issue. But this is not the end of this sad story, the seafarers are owed wages going back to 2015, totalling over USD 916,000. There is never an excuse for seafarers to be abandoned like this, it is a scourge that has to stop, and it has to stop now,” Mohamed Arrachedi added.