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S'pore officers union recovers $1.94m in unpaid seafarer wages in 13 months

S'pore officers union recovers $1.94m in unpaid seafarer wages in 13 months
The Singapore Maritime Officers Union (SMOU) recovered SGD2.7m ($1.94m) in unpaid crew wages over the last 13 months.

As much of the shipping industry endures tough times cases of unpaid and stranded seafarers unfortunately tend to increase.

Speaking at the Union’s Lunar New Year Luncheon on Thursday, Mary Liew, general secretary of SMOU said: “SMOU will also continue to step up efforts to ensure fair payment for our stranded seafarers and members in need. Since last year up till the end of January this year, we have successfully claimed SGD2.7m ($1.94m) in backdated wages and claims in grievance cases.”

In 2013 the Union helped recover $300,000 in unpaid seafarer wages for the crew of C Whale owned by Nobu Su’s Tomorrow Makes Today (TMT), which had been arrested in Singapore waters.

In recognition of the tough times shipping companies are facing SMOU is make a one-time SGD1,000 per vessel to all Singapore-flagged vessels that come under collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) with.

“This works out to a disbursement of SGD1.5m for SMOU to help our CBA companies through this difficult time, and at the same time to better the welfare on board the vessels as part of their cost savings on service provision to vessels,” Liew said.

The level fees levied by the Union on Singapore-flagged vessels has long been a bone of contention with owners.