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08 Oct 2019
2 mins
SMOU Helps Seafarers Claim US$207,110 of Unpaid Wages

For three to six months, the crew, mainly Indian national seafarers onboard the vessel could not send money home and their desperate pleas for their wages to be paid fell on deaf ears. The vessel was also experiencing low bunker and fresh water levels

International Transport Workers’ Federation had informed the Local Unions of the arrest of MT Folk Beauty at one of the Singapore shipyard by Sheriff Court on 21 March. SMOU contacted the vessel Master and explored options which the crew could exercise to get back their wages. The Master attempted to get the ship owners and managers to respond to the seafarers’ plight. After the final failed effort to get back their wages on 13 May, the crew sought help from the Singapore unions.

Together with their lawyers, SMOU President Rahim Jaffar, Industrial Relations Officer Kelvin Lin went onboard on 17 May to help the crew file their claims via legal representation. After much pressure from various parties, the bank’s lawyers sought approval from the court to pay the crew’s outstanding wages.

On 28 June, the Sheriff’s agent and bank’s lawyers, together with the Union officials, witnessed the payout to all the crew onboard. They were also given their air tickets to be repatriated home the next day. The crew were more than relieved that the ordeal was finally over and grateful to SMOU for claiming back their wages.

SMOU will continue in its mission to champion seafarers’ interests and to add value to the maritime community and beyond.

Non-payment of wages is a part of running a substandard shipping operation. Shipowners should know this and bear their responsibility of paying the crew on time.”

– Mr Rahim Jaffar, SMOU President