5 January 2010 – Filipino seafarers scored a significant victory in labor protection when a Greek court directed the owner of MV Aetea Sierra to pay higher salaries to its crew, the Philippine Embassy in Athens reported to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Monday.
Under a court order issued on 21 December 2009, the award to be given to the crew, including 12 Filipinos, was calculated using Greek wage standard which is about four times more than what the seafarers would have received on wages stipulated in their contracts.
The award would cover the period from 9 July to 9 November, while the residual claims shall follow to cover the period starting 10 November 2009 until the date of the seafarers’ actual departure from Greece to the Philippines.
The Filipino crew of MV Aetea Sierra sought the assistance of the Embassy after negotiations with the Greek vessel owner for their unpaid salaries and damages failed.
The seafarers also filed a case against the vessel owner. A Filipino ship engineer is represented by a Greek lawyer offered by the Embassy while lawyers of the International Transport Federation (ITF) are assisting the rest of the Filipino crew.
The Philippine Embassy is already making arrangements for the Filipino seafarers’ repatriation. Eleven of them have completed their contracts and have signified their wish to go home.