VietNamNet Bridge – “The crew is still provided with expenses for food and subsistence allowance from the VND200 billion ($10 million) loan of the Government, but wages and other things will be paid after the ships are solved. At present Vinashinlines does not have money to bring sailors home,” said Mr. Nguyen Van Cong – Deputy Minister of Transport.
Cong made this statement after the families of sailors on Hoa Sen and Sea Eagle vessels, which are stuck in China, flock to the head office of the Vinashin Ocean Shipping Limited Company (Vinashinlines) to ask the company to take their family members back home.
Recognizing the difficulties that the crews are undergoing, Cong hoped that the crews try to share difficulties with Vinashinlines. According to Deputy Minister Cong, this is a common problem of the shipping companies, not only Vinashinlines.
“The government lent Vinashinlines VND200 billion to support their sailors and to sell vessels. Currently the sale of ships is being implemented. When the ships are not sold, sailors are encouraged to be sympathetic with Vinalines to stay and keep the ships until they are sold,” Cong said.
According to the official, the employees at Vinashinlines offices in Vietnam are also in difficult situation. Their wages have not paid for a long time. Vinashinlines even does not have money to pay postal charges.
Deputy Minister Cong confirmed that the Ministry of Transport has given priority to deal with the issues related to the crew on Vinashinlines ships which are detained overseas.
According to the Vietnam Shipping Lines Corporation (Vinalines) – the parent company of Vinashinlines, waiting for vessels being sold is the only choice at this moment to have money to pay wages and take sailor home.
Reportedly, the number of sailors on detained ships overseas includes: 8 on Diamond Way, 20 on New Horizon, 22 on Cai Lan, 9 on Sea Eagle and 9 on Hoa Sen. These ships are anchored at the ports in Pakistan, China, the United Arab Emirates and India.
Vinashinlines aims to sell all detained ships. However, this is a tough mission. In late March 2013, Vinashinlines sold the New Phoenix at more than $3.7 million.
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