Maritime News

ITF coordinates support for crew left stranded in Aden

23 June 2017

Yas crew members assisted by the ITF.*
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Yas crew members assisted by the ITF.*

The ITF has used its global reach to coordinate a successful effort to support a crew left stranded in the port of Aden, in conflict-ridden Yemen.

The crew of the Panama-flagged cargo ship Yas approached the ITF for assistance in April 2017 after the vessel had been arrested when it berthed in Aden. The 12 crew members – six Indians, five Ukrainians and one from Syria – told ITF inspector Mohamed Arrachedi (who coordinates the ITF’s Arab world network) that they had not been paid since March, had no provisions or fuel, and had been abandoned by the ship’s owners. Mr Arrachedi commented that, in addition to these appalling conditions, the stress of being in a war zone, having their passports confiscated, and no plans for repatriation had also taken their toll on the seafarers.

However, the ITF was able to work with its Yemen affiliate, the Labor Committee of Aden Container Terminal, which took up the crew’s case as one of its own and worked for their safe repatriation from this war zone. The ITF assisted with hotel costs and pocket money for the crew, and arranged their flights home on humanitarian grounds. 

Repatriation was made even more difficult because of the closure of the country’s borders due to the current cholera outbreak. In a two-stage emergency repatriation plan, the Aden union arranged for one group of seafarers to cross Yemen to an airport from where they were able to fly to Kenya and then Odessa and Mumbai, while the second group went by sea to Djibouti from where they flew back to India and Ukraine.

Mr Arrachedi praised the role of the union colleagues in Aden, under the lead of Derhem Mazen, “who worked continuously day and night to overcome all the difficulties to reach a happy ending”, as well as the Aden port and maritime authorities.

In a thank-you message, the wife of one of the repatriated Ukrainian seafarers said: "Dear Mohamed, we are very grateful to you for returning our son, husband, father …Thank you, thank you, you have been our salvation."

PROBLEMS WITH PAY?

Are you having problems with getting your pay in full? If you are, this could be a sign that your company is in economic trouble. You should contact your union or the ITF directly as soon as possible to protect your wages and employment. 

 




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