SMOU’s mission is to champion seafarers’ interests and add value to the maritime community and beyond.
So when a cry for help was heard in March 2019 to assist the crew members of Brightoil Lion and Brightoil Grace in recovering their wages since the vessels’ arrest in Singapore. SMOU acted swiftly to help the crew onboard the arrested vessels to claim their unpaid wages.
By activating the MLC 2006 Financial Security requirements, SMOU helped seafarers onboard Brightoil Lion, claim their wages, on top of repatriation, essential needs such as food, accommodation and medical care and up to four months’ outstanding contractual wages and entitlements in the event of abandonment. By May 2019, 16 crew from Brightoil Lion benefited after they signed off from their vessel. The crew received more than US$218,000 and were repatriated around the same day.
Upon witnessing the effectiveness of the MLC Financial Security, the crew of MT Brightoil Grace followed suit to claim their wages. The Sheriff Court sold both vessels via open auction in June. Proceeds were used to pay balance wages to the crew on board both vessels.
The union assisted 65 crew members and claimed a total of more than US$748,000 of wages for the crew of Brightoil Grace and Brightoil Lion.
The claims process was challenging, but because of the close cooperation with our ITF affiliate in Hong Kong and the Sheriff’s Agent made payout and repatriation arrangements for the crew, the process was sped up and made smoother.