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Panama ship with 22 Romanian crew on board detained in France

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Bulk carrier St. Elias that operates under the colors of Panama, with 22 Romanian crew on board, was detained in the French port of Lorient for violation of the Maritime Labor Convention of 2006, the Seafarers Free Trade Union said in a release, informs Agerpres.

According to the cited source, the Romanian sailors complained of "not having been paid for several months and of poor working and living conditions on board". The Seafarers Free Trade Union said that on July 2 the ship was inspected by the Port State Control and the France-based Inspector of the International Transport Workers' Federation and was detained following the findings.

"The shipowners are now taking fast action for the wages to be paid and for the crew to be repatriated, as ruled by the authorities following the complaints of the seafarers on board; steps are also taken to address the issues found on board. There are also other cases of Romanian sea-men who have been sent home with the promise that they will promptly receive their wages but who still have to recover the outstanding money. ITF France, the Seafarers Free Trade Union and ITF Romania are working together to sort out all the issues related to the seafarers' pay, insofar as they provide the necessary documents proving the amounts they have to collect," the release said.

The Seafarers Free Trade Union also cautions Romanian sailors to avoid vessels with a record of wages not being paid and turn to trade organizations or complain to the ship's administrator and the ship's insurance club if wages are more than two months past due.

The insurance covers a maximum 4 months of unpaid salary and the cost of the seafarers' repatriation.

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