A number of sailors employed by Vinashin Ocean Shipping Company Ltd. (Vinashinlines) have been stranded in China with no way to return due to the foundering firm’s lack of funds.
Nguyen Van Cong, Deputy Minister of Transport, explained that the whole shipping industry is currently in trouble and that they were trying to find a solution. He asked for understanding from sailors’ families.
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“The government has given Vinashinelines a VND200 billion (USD9.6 million) loan so they can provide essential support to the sailors and quickly sell the ships. As soon as the ships are sold, we will bring the sailors home.” Cong said. “The expense of transferring all these people is currently above Vinashinlines’ financial capacity, so we ask that they stay until the ships are sold. The ministry will put the sailors’ problems first on our list,” he added.
Vinashinlines employees in Vietnam have not received their wages for some time.
Representatives of Vietnam National Shipping Lines, mother company of Vinashinlines, said selling ships that are docked overseas is the only way to pay wages employees and return the crew members who remain stuck in various countries such as China, India, the United Arab Emirates and Pakistan.
Vinashinelines now has five ships that stuck in overseas ports, including the Diamond Way with eight sailors, the New Horizon with 20, the Cai Lan 4 with 22 , the Sea Eagle with nine and the Hoa Sen also with nine sailors.
In March, Vinashinlines successfully sold the New Phoenix for USD3.7 million.