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13.08.2002 General News

Sailors Up in Arms As Management Flees

By Chronicle
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The executive Chairman of Infitico Limited, Mr. Y. K. Kang and his managing director, Mr. Kobina Dawson, asd well as all the senior staff, last Monday deserted their offices when they smelled a rat that about 300 strong sailors working on board their six fishing vessels were advancing from the fishing harbour to the main office to demand their delayed salaries and other fringe benefits.

As at the time of filing this story at about 12.30 noon last Friday, there was no trace of any senior staff of the company at the yard and the offices had been locked up remaining only the security to face the wrath of angry sailors.

Chronicle learnt from the spokesman of the sailors, Third Engineer Samuel Ofori, working in M.V. Tuliban II, that the sailors are speaking with one voice against the inhuman treatment being meted out to them by their employers.

He cited inadequate supply of food, drugs for first aid, very poor and bad water supply, adding "formerly we enjoyed 30 bags of rice for 30 days on sea but now it has been drastically reduced to three for 47 sailors."

According to Mr. Ofori, all the vessels do not possess safety equipment and, therefore, there are no safety measures.

He listed among the demand of the sailors the settlement of their 12 months salary increases dated back from May, last year, 365 increase in tonnage of fish catch and prompt settlement of their hospital bills submitted by crew since last year.

Others are spraying of cabins to destroy cockroaches infested in all the vessels, changing of beddings and adequate supply of drugs and food, provision of life jackets and maintenance of water storage systems to provide hygienic drinking water.

Chronicle further gathered from Ofori that Mr. William Ayivi, third engineer in MV. Jazmin and Kingsford Bentum, also third engineer in MV Tulipan II, have been dismissed by the management for spearheading their right, saying "until the management meet all our demands we will continue to occupy the main office until they kingdom come."

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