ITF and Global Cruise Lines reach an agreement to repatriate the CMV crew members over the coming days

Jul 02, 2020

The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) and Global Cruise Lines have reached an agreement to ensure that the crew stranded on the CMV ships continue to be repatriated over the coming days.

Following this wonderful announcement for the CMV crew and their families back home, Stephen Cotton, General Secretary of the ITF, said:  “The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has had an adverse effect on the maritime industry, especially the cruise industry. The ITF recognises that this company is a victim of these circumstances. The crew of the vessels are of many nationalities and we appreciate the continuing efforts of the company to arrange repatriations. We look forward to Global Cruise Lines returning to normal operations and to continuing the long-standing relationship with them.”

Christian Verhounig, CEO of Global Cruise Lines said: “We appreciate the good relations we have with the ITF and the support they are providing in these difficult times. Their involvement has greatly assisted us in speeding up the repatriation of all our valued crew members.”

After ITF and PSC support, as well as many wonderful people who have advocated for the seafarers' rights to raise crewmembers' voice, the first group of Indonesian crew members disembarked today.

Last month the UK Maritime authorities boarded five Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV) ships in Tilbury, near London, and a sixth at Bristol, following serious concerns about the welfare of almost 1,500 stranded crew members.

The MCA surveyors discovered several irregularities including expired seafarers contracts and late payment of wages for crew members who were on board for over 12 months. Five CMV cruise ships were detained as a preventative measure in line with UK regulations in order that a full inspection of the ship related to the maritime labour convention can be carried out.

Prior to MCA and ITF intervention around 160 Indian crew members on the CMV vessel MV Astoria started a peaceful protest on the ship’s open deck asking their government and state officials to help them return home to their families. The seafarers further requested the government of India to immediately approve the repatriation request. Two days later a crew member was reported to have died due to ‘natural causes’ on the CMV cruise ship Vasco da Gama.