Crew to stay aboard ship for 'as long as it takes to get paid'

 

AN EASTERN European crew of a ship detained at Dundalk harbour said last evening they would remain there “for as long as it takes to get paid”.

The MV Lindaarrived in Dundalk on July 29th. A problem arose with the engine that resulted in the 56-year-old captain and his two fellow Russian officers, along with the five crew from Ukraine, having to stay in the town. All but one of them are married.

The crew claimed they had only “enough food to last four or five days and enough fuel for heating and electricity on the ship for 1½ months, depending on the weather”.

Two other ships, the MV Defenderand MV Fairland, belonging to Forestry Shipping, stated to be the owners and based in Riga, Latvia, are reported to be detained in Holland by the International Transport Federation for non-payment of wages.

Ken Fleming , assistant co-ordinator in Ireland for the federation, said it had been involved in disputes over the last two years with the company for non-payment of wages, and that short of “setting fire to myself outside of Minister Dempsey’s office, I can’t get support that we don’t need people like this sailing into ports”.

He called for a change in the law which would require ships to pay harbour fees before entering ports.

The crew says they each received an advance at the beginning of July of between $150 and $200, along with a further €200 from Forestry Shipping for food last week. They were supplied with €200 from the local harbourmaster, and that would cover another four or five days food.

They were getting water from a tap at the port. “We would like to go home, but not without pay and we will remain until we get our money,” the crew insisted.