SMOU Recovers Unpaid Wages for Distressed Seafarers
The Singapore Maritime Officers’ Union (SMOU) has helped 20 seafarers onboard an arrested tanker called “C Whale” claim their unpaid wages of US$300,000 (S$375,000).
The seafarers were denied their wages for three months until they asked for the Union’s assistance in March.
Negotiations went on for almost a month until the Union finally secured the wages for the seafarers at the end of April.
This is the 2nd largest amount to be claimed on behalf of troubled seafarers with the help from the Union. The largest amount of unpaid wages SMOU has helped to claim was US$400,000 about two years ago. Since 1993, SMOU has helped seafarers claim more than US$15 million of unpaid wages.
For the seafarers onboard C Whale who have been living in a limbo, it was pure relief and sheer joy to be able to claim their unpaid wages.
“I thank SMOU for their assistance in getting our wages back. I never thought I will be able to receive such kindness whilst in a foreign land. I look forward to seeing my family at the end of this episode,” said a grateful 2nd engineer, Mr Muhammad Hanif from Pakistan.
SMOU’s Executive Secretary Ms Mary Liew said: “I am very glad that we fought for what is rightfully due to the seafarers and that they can finally put all these behind them and return home soon. Coincidentally, this ties in well with the spirit of Labour Day, and that is to protect the welfare of the workers from unfair treatment from their employers. We also thankful to International Lutheran Seafarers’ Mission (ILSM) and all those who rendered their assistance.”
Currently all 20 seafarers are still onboard while they wait for the tanker’s cargo to be unloaded. These seafarers are mainly from India, Pakistan, Myanmar, and Russia.
The tanker sailed from Indonesia and has been docked in Singapore since February.
SMOU, April 30, 2013