Ship’s crew continues wage battle

Comment on this story
IOL pic june8 justice scales gavel Independent Newspapers The case of two men accused of stealing a man's cellphone and raping him has been postponed.

The fate of a Sri Lankan crew, who have brought an application to sell a cargo ship on which they worked, is now in the hands of the Durban High Court.

The crew have brought the court action to have the dilapidated Sri Lankan ship, Lanka Mahapola, sold so they could recover their wages, about $85 000 (R705 500).

An interim order was granted in the Durban High Court authorising the sale of the ship by public auction, but this is yet to be made final.

The sailors are living in Durban pending the application’s outcome.

Their attorney, Struan Mundell, said in court papers that the men had not been paid for at least three months by the ship’s owner, the Ceylon Shipping Company.

Mundell said all but five crew members’ employment contracts had expired. “Despite repeated requests to sign off and return home, the owner has failed to allow them to do so. They have not received wages for three to four months, which indicates that the company is in severe financial difficulties.”

He said the crew had “drifted about” without work for three months this year.

Two weeks ago 13 of them were arrested for theft after they tried to sell scrap metal from the ship in Durban. The charges were later withdrawn.

Mundell described their arrest as an “effort to prevent the men from exercising their rights”.

The case was adjourned to Wednesday. - Daily News

sign up

Comment Guidelines

  1. Please read our comment guidelines.
  2. Login and register, if you haven’ t already.
  3. Write your comment in the block below and click (Post As)
  4. Has a comment offended you? Hover your mouse over the comment and wait until a small triangle appears on the right-hand side. Click triangle () and select "Flag as inappropriate". Our moderators will take action if need be.

  5. Verified email addresses: All users on Independent Media news sites are now required to have a verified email address before being allowed to comment on articles. You are only required to verify your email address once to have full access to commenting on articles. For more information please read our comment guidelines