VLADIVOSTOK, March 23 (Itar-Tass) — The Russian crewmembers of the Yekaterina transport refrigerator that have been left without means of support in the South Korean port of Masan, have said that they would not allow the vessel to leave the port if the sailors are not paid all the wages for many months owed to them.
The wage debt to 19 sailors from Russia’s Primorsky Territory is more than 150 thousand US dollars. The Yekaterina refrigerator, flying the flag of the Republic of Kiribati, belongs to a South Korean shipping company based in the port of Pusan.
Deputy chairman of the Seafarers’ Union of Russia (SUR) Nikolai Sukhanov told Itar-Tass that the Korean inspector of the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), to which the Seafarers’ Union of Russia belongs, is engaged in the settlement of the Yekaterina crew’s problems.
The inspector accepted applications from the ship’s crewmembers with demands of paying wages to them and their repatriation to their homeland, and has already started negotiations with the owner of the refrigerator. The last resort measure to make the owner liquidate the wage debt may be the refrigerator’s arrest through a Korean court on the basis of the Russian sailors’ lawsuits.