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11 Sep 2017

Ismail Sebugwaawo, Khaleej Times (UAE)

60 sailors return home, receive salaries after being stranded in UAE waters without pay for months

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“UAE gets stranded sailors back home, salaries paid”, 5 September 2017

The UAE's Federal Transport Authority (FTA) for Land and Maritime has helped 60 Asian sailors receive their payments and get back to their home countries after they were abandoned on stranded vessels. The authorities had intervened after the sailors on 14 ships from Asian countries complained about their suffering and difficulties from the non-payment of their salaries for many months. The sailors, on Pakistani, Indian and Sri Lankan vessels, had been abandoned by their companies on UAE waters and ports for months. Authorities said they communicated with the country of the ship's flag, the shipping agent and the owner of the vessel to address the suffering of the sailors, as they are responsible for the ships and the seamen, as per international agreements. In some of the cases, the maritime officials amicably settled the payment issues with the sailors, clearing their outstanding payments before transporting them back to their home countries. In other instances, the authorities took legal action against the ship owners to ensure that the workers' payment issues were resolved…"Some sailors refrain from reporting to the authorities in time because of the fear that their employers will take arbitrary measures against them, thereby delaying their payments with false promises," said officials.