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Pay Recovery(2)
Ssegrub
Posted: Wednesday, January 6, 2010 11:19 AM
Joined: 01/09/2008
Posts: 5


I will try to keep this as short as possible for now. I was permanently employed as a captain and after just over 5 months was told that I was no longer required. No reason was given and I assume that it was a cost cutting exercise by the owner as the vessel was to be hauled out a few days later for an extended period. The management company presented me with a letter detailing my severance package which included remuneration for the days worked in that month, one month salary in lieu of the notice period (30 days) and pay in lieu of accrued leave. The termination was immediate thus the 30 days pay in lieu of 30 days notice. All this is detailed in the employment agreement which I have with the owning company through the management company. I was given a flight home, also as per the employment agreement. It has now been over 2 months and still I have not received this severance pay. The management companies response to my queries is that they are waiting for funds and approval of this payment by the owners' representative. The question is, 'how do I go about recovering what is owed to me'?
MatrixLloyd.com
Posted: Wednesday, January 6, 2010 12:39 PM
Joined: 19/05/2008
Posts: 52


Hi there, and thanks for your post. Well, you did the right thing by working under a contract, as without it you wouldn’t stand much of a chance of recovering anything. The best option would be to threaten to arrest the yacht. You can make this threat directly to start with, then use a good marine lawyer local to where the yacht actually is. If you don’t know where it is, a website such as this http://www.marinetraffic.com/ais/ may be able to help. This should be enough, but, if not, the employment contract should contain a law and jurisdiction clause which tells where you would need to litigate. If not, then you may be able to litigate in the country where the yacht is flagged. I hope this helps. Benjamin Maltby. MatrixLloyd.
Ssegrub
Posted: Wednesday, January 6, 2010 6:39 PM
Joined: 01/09/2008
Posts: 5


Hi Benjamin Thanks very much for your prompt response. This is where it may or may not become tricky. There is a clause in the agreement which may or may not hold water and I quote it in full below: 'The Crew Member irrevocably and unconditionally waives all rights to assert, enforce, execute or secure any claim, order or judgement against the Employer by means of any action, arrest, attachment, detention, lien, seizure or other proceeding against the Yacht' 'There are no collective agreements applicable to the Crew Member's employment by the Employer' Now it seems very one sided to me and I was probably naive to accept it but I have been employed by this owner before and had never had any problems so it didn't bother me at the the time. How does it affect the situation? The employment agreement is governed by English Law and English courts have exclusive jurisdiction. I do know where the yacht is at the moment. I have tried unsuccessfully to contact the owner's representative both by email and telephone. I hope you have a solution for me and thank you for your time. R
Anonymous
Posted: Thursday, January 7, 2010 7:43 AM
Gosh, what is even the point of signing an agreement that has such a caveat as what you quote here? It is nullifying the entire value of the contract, at least on your side. WTF? can such a contract be legal or enforceable?
MatrixLloyd.com
Posted: Thursday, January 7, 2010 2:48 PM
Joined: 19/05/2008
Posts: 52


Frankly, yes, you were naïve to sign such a contract. When crewmembers don’t negotiate their contracts they are flagging themselves up as pushovers from day one, and this may set the tone for an unhappy period of employment thereafter. However, I doubt very much whether the English courts would uphold such a clause (as far as I am aware, such a clause has never been tested in the English courts). Essentially, it is saying that you don’t have the right to secure your rights. In any event, such a clause would have to be considered by the courts of the jurisdiction in which you were seeking to arrest the yacht. Most courts are more sympathetic towards seafarers than ship or yacht owners.
Ssegrub
Posted: Friday, January 8, 2010 11:45 AM
Joined: 01/09/2008
Posts: 5


Thanks for your reply. I am seeking further legal advice and will keep you posted on developments.
bob kimball
Posted: Saturday, January 9, 2010 4:26 AM
Joined: 22/06/2008
Posts: 3


they always win yellowdog
Will
Posted: Saturday, January 9, 2010 7:24 PM
Joined: 30/10/2009
Posts: 2


I have also been laid off and still waiting for my last month salary let alone any severence. However myself and the rest of the crew where working as owners representatives on a new build, we had no contracts and the potential owner did not complete the payments for the yacht. So I take it we have nothing to go on and will just have to take it as a bad lesson learnt!
MatrixLloyd.com
Posted: Saturday, January 9, 2010 8:46 PM
Joined: 19/05/2008
Posts: 52


Will - you may still have rights, but without a contract these are almost always near impossible to establish. In your case, the 'buyer' will probably have been a buying company with few if any other assets other than the incomplete yacht which presumably it no longer owns - if indeed it ever did.
Will
Posted: Sunday, January 10, 2010 8:58 PM
Joined: 30/10/2009
Posts: 2


Yes this is the case if he doesn't own the yacht and we had no contract for the build, what would be our best course of action from here, is it worth getting a lawyer involved? What rights do we have? We can prove that we were employed. Many thanks
captainkara
Posted: Monday, January 11, 2010 6:39 AM
Joined: 19/10/2008
Posts: 1


all we know every one needs job.. please work with contract and tell the boss or company send your salary to your bank account before living the job try to get your money in cash right away if they dont pay go to coast guard or harbour master and claim for your payment.they will hold the boat until both sides agree.if boat lives from the country its will be more diffucult to get your money in this bussiness everyone has to be honest each other dont forget we are in same ship.
MatrixLloyd.com
Posted: Monday, January 11, 2010 2:20 PM
Joined: 19/05/2008
Posts: 52


Will - If you had had a contract, you would now know where to start. As it is, the best you can do to ask a lawyer who is local to the yard where you undertook the work. Under the circumstances, you won’t know whether it will have been worth asking a lawyer until you have asked one.
Anonymous
Posted: Monday, January 11, 2010 4:06 PM
A good forum and the industry needs transparency on such matters. Ssegrub... Did u work for IFA??? Best of luck
Ssegrub
Posted: Wednesday, January 13, 2010 7:10 PM
Joined: 01/09/2008
Posts: 5


IFA?? Anyway, I have made a real pain of myself the last 2 weeks or so and finally getting somewhere.
Ssegrub
Posted: Wednesday, January 27, 2010 7:43 AM
Joined: 01/09/2008
Posts: 5


Well, after lots of persistence and some threats of legal action I managed to get hold of a director of the management company. Not sure what influence he had but the owner finally paid up, a little short i might add! Almost 3 months late but it was a fair amount of money so it was worth the fight! Good luck to others in the same position.
MatrixLloyd.com
Posted: Wednesday, January 27, 2010 8:17 AM
Joined: 19/05/2008
Posts: 52


I'm very glad to hear it. Well done.
 
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