FILIPINO workers stuck on a ship at Tilbury are owed almost £100,000 in wages... with some having not been paid for three months.
Now trade union the International Transport Workers’ Federation has launched arrest proceedings on the mv Isis [SIC]meaning the ship cannot leave the port until the 20 crew and one captain have been paid.
Some of the workers have not been home for up to a year and many have families back in the Philippines are struggling to make ends meet.
Bosses of the ship, which is operated by Athens-based Derna Carriers and owned by Diamond Seaways, promised payment on January 7, but that never happened.
Sea charity the Apostleship of the Sea has been helping workers on board the ship.
One, who had not been paid for four months, had the electrical supply to his family’s home in the Philippines cut-off due to unpaid bills.
Deacon Paul Glock from the charity told the Gazette that workers were “anxious”.
He said: “We managed to help that worker by sending some funds home, but these men go to sea to support their families.
“Some of them have been on the ship for 12 months. They want to go home.”
Ken Fleming, ITF UK and Ireland coordinator, said: “The situation remains that most of the money owed dates back to November 1 and is clearly not forthcoming. This is totally unacceptable.”
The vessel was first detained in Port Arthur in Texas in September 2013 after its owner encountered financial difficulties and was unable to pay the crew there. This was paid by the end of October.
The ship then made for the UK to unload its cargo of sugar at the Thames refinery in Silverton.
When the vessel reached Silverton on January 2, the MCA detained it again as its safety certficate had expired.
It was then moved to Tilbury so repairs could be carried out and the certificate granted. But now the ITF has stepped in to detain the ship again.
Mr Fleming said: “Given that the situation is deteriorating by the minute we have now moved to have the vessel arrested on behalf of the crew.”
The crew have been advised not to leave the ship until they have been paid.