SERVICES

Blocked wages, sailors caught at port of Genoa

Genova - A crew hostage of the ship, a ferry flying the flag of Morocco built almost 40 years ago. Without the possibility to go ashore and without more food on board. Seven sailors who have not received salaries for months and are hundreds of miles away from home and family

Genova - A crew hostage of the ship, a ferry flying the flag of Morocco built almost 40 years ago. Without the possibility to go ashore and without more food on board. Seven sailors who have not received salaries for months and are hundreds of miles away from home and family. Men who manage to survive only thanks to the solidarity of the workers who work in the port’s dry docks. It is not a film but a true story, made of enormous daily difficulties and experienced by the crew, all men of Moroccan nationality, of the ship “Le Rif” moored in the area of naval repairs, a few tens of meters from the Fiera di Genova. The ship’s galley is empty and the sailors have no money to buy food. They can not go ashore because the minimum number of crewmen who must remain on board the ship, for security reasons, is seven units. They could leave the port and sail to Morocco but do not want to give up their moorings for fear, once they arrive in Africa, to be left at home without getting back salaries. The case is followed by the International Federation of Transport Workers (Itf) and by the lawyer Stefano Staderini.

The court of Genoa, in recent days, has seized the ferry and asked for an immediate intervention by the shipping company that is based in Tangier, the Detroit World Logistics Maritime Sa: “If in the next days the company will not give answers - explains the attorney Staderini - we will face one of the many cases of “ghost ship” that in the port of Genoa had not been seen for some years now. In essence - he continues - we risk finding ourselves in front of a crew totally abandoned by the owner, that is, by the owner of the ship that no longer cares not only for its sailors but also for its fleet. Obviously - the lawyer closes - we are working so that all this does not happen.”

The Italian adventure of the ferry that in Morocco is used to cover national lines has not been, until now, a story of the happiest: before arriving in Genoa to be repaired, the ship has touched the ports of Naples and La Spezia. Last November, moored at the breakwater stop during a wave of bad weather, the ferry broke the moorings drifting.

The ship crashed against some boats secured to the floating docks included in the state property concession of the Antonini group: only the arrival of two tugboats avoided an even more dramatic assessment of the damage that was calculated in almost three million euro.

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