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Ukrainian crew's protest backed by Maritime Union

Thursday 11 May 2006

Ukrainian crew's onboard protest in Lyttelton backed by Maritime Union

The Maritime Union says that a group of Ukrainian fishermen in
Lyttelton are victims of the lack of regulation of the fishing industry.

The 27 crew members are currently onboard the FV Malakhov Kurgan in
the port of Lyttelton where they are refusing to leave until they are
paid backpay owing to them, and held a picket this morning at the
gates of the port.

Maritime Union General Secretary Trevor Hanson says the 27 crew
members have not been paid the correct wages for the time they have
worked.

He says a further group of fishermen were sent home after accepting a
lumpsum payment, but the Maritime Union has concerns about the way
the situation has been handled, and the message this is giving
fishing companies and charterers.

Mr Hanson says it appears that crew members have been threatened that
they may be jailed when they return home unless they give up their
claim.

He says the Maritime Union will support the crew and is doing what it
can to resolve the situation in a positive way for them.

Ends

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