Crew abandoned without wages, food and water aboard the Liberian flagged
vessel, Fritz, in Oshawa Harbor
THOROLD, ON, July 14, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - Seafarers' International Union
of Canada (S.I.U), the most important sailors' union in Canada,
representing the majority of unlicensed sailors working aboard vessels
across Canada, today announced that it will stand alongside its
brothers as they strike aboard the Liberian registered vessel, Fritz.
The Fritz, currently in the Port of Oshawa, Ontario, has been
effectively abandoned by its' owner, German company Intersee
Schiffahrtsgeselischaft. The crew, which includes 18 Romanians and one
Russian captain, has been denied wages since April, and was out of food
and fresh water. Taking desperate measures, the crew began hailing
passing fishermen for fishing gear in hopes of catching their next
meal. They also contacted International Transport Workers' Federation,
ITF, Inspector Vince Giannopoulos, who, with the help of Judith Alltree
from the Mission to Seafarers, organized for a Romanian Orthodox priest
to board the vessel and listen to the crew as they recounted their
ordeal. The S.I.U., an ITF affiliate union, has worked closely with
the ITF to ensure that the best interests of seafarers are represented
and that their rights are protected.
"It is unfathomable that a vessel crew could be left in this state. The
S.I.U. will do whatever is needed to ensure that these Seafarers are
taken care of and that their needs are attended to," said James Given,
President, S.I.U. "It is ultimately the responsibility of the vessel
owner to look after the crew but, failing that, Seafarers look after
each other and this crew deserves some dignity after what they have
been through. The S.I.U. of Canada stands proudly alongside this crew
as they strike against the exploitation which they have endured." He
went on to say that "the International Transport Workers Federation is
the world leader in insuring that the rights of Seafarers are respected
and we are proud to be affiliated to them".
The Fritz crew has been on strike since Friday, July 11 and is currently
awaiting back pay of wages. Vince Giannopoulos, ITF Inspector said,
"No human beings should be treated like this, not on land and not at
About the Seafarers' International Union of Canada: A Sailors' Union by Sailors for the benefit of Sailors. The Seafarers' International Union of Canada has been serving
unlicensed seafarers since 1938 and is affiliated with the Seafarers'
International Union of North America, presently representing 60,000
unlicensed seafarers across the continent. The most important sailors'
union in Canada, the Seafarers' International Union, better known as
the S.I.U., represents the majority of unlicensed sailors working
aboard vessels on the Great Lakes, the St. Lawrence River, on the East
Coast and the West Coast and in the Arctic. In addition to vessels
operated in Canadian waters, S.I.U. members also have the opportunity
to work aboard vessels delivering cargoes in the United
States, Europe and South America.
SOURCE: Seafarers' International Union of Canada
For further information:
Director, Marketing & Public Relations
Seafarers' International Union of Canada