HK cargo ship owner accused of not paying crew wages

Local | 6 Jan 2020 2:48 pm

Labour officials in Taiwan says they have contacted the Hong Kong owner of a cargo ship Quan Fu 88 whose crew had claimed they had not been paid for months. The company has promised to deal with the salary dispute within the next few days, CNA reports.

Eight Chinese merchant seamen were caught in Taichung on Friday for illegal entry after they left their ships docked at Taichung Port earlier that day and climbed a fence to land on Taiwan's soil, labor officials in the city said.

Seven of the eight are crew members of the Cameroon- registered general cargo ship, while the other is from another ship owned by the same company, according to the Labor Affairs Bureau of the Taichung city government. They were arrested for immigration law violations, when they went to City Hall to seek help over unpaid wages.

According to the Labor Affairs Bureau of the Taichung city government, the Quan Fu 88 has been docked at the port since last May.

Scheduled to set sail in early September, the 1,923-ton cargo ship was ordered by the port authority to return to the port out of safety concerns after the harbor pilot found that the boat's engine failed to run properly.

The captain, Wang Quan, one of the eight who jumped ship, told local media that they left China on May 18 last year and arrived in Taichung Harbor two days later.

He complained of not having been paid except for the two-month period from July and August, when they only got half of their wages. Wang said the crew had run out of food.

"The ship owner has not answered our demand to address the problem as soon as possible," he said.

On Thursday, the Quan Fu 88 crew hung posters from their ship, reading: "We want human rights; We want living rights" and "Give us our blood money; We want to go home."

The Taichung City Labor Affairs Bureau said it contacted the Hong Kong ship owner.


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