The Maritime Union says it is helping the Burmese crew from the seized vessel Annapurna in the Ports of Auckland.
The Liberian-flagged Annapurna was seized yesterday by creditors after it berthed in Auckland, following the bankruptcy of its owners Eastwind.
Maritime Union Auckland Seafarers Branch Secretary Garry Parsloe, who represents the International Transport Workers Federation, says the primary concern of the Union is that crew members are paid their wages.
He says the Union is ensuring that the interests of the 23 Burmese crew members are looked after.
He says provisions for the crew have been supplied as well as telephones, as some of the crew had not spoken to their families at home in months.
Mr Parsloe says he has an undertaking from the agents that a payment would be made to crew to assist them in the meantime.
He says some of the crew members had not been paid for up to a year.
Mr Parsloe says he was pleased to hear representatives of the creditors had indicated that crew wages would be at the top of the list to be paid once the ship had been sold.
He says the crew will either be repatriated with their wages or may be re-employed by a new owner of the vessel, which was their decision.
Mr Parsloe says there are often problems with “flag of convenience” ships and the treatment of their crew around the world.
For more information contact Maritime Union Auckland Seafarers Branch Secretary Garry Parsloe on 021326261