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Crew Pay - with contract
Posted: Sunday, July 17, 2011 7:01 PM
Joined: 21/02/2010
Posts: 3

Good Day,

Im currently employed onboard a British Flagged yacht, in Italy. I have a signed contract which states on the 30th of every month my monthly salary will be deposited into my bank account. It has now been two and a half weeks since the 'transaction' and I have not recieved any funds as yet. I have been in contact with my bank and they stated that the max days for any transaction should take 5 days. The situation is the same for the stewardess onboard. What concerns me the most is that the Cpt. and 1st mate recieved their funds within 2 days. My current financial standing is nil, thus I am unable to do anything. 

On the day of my arrival onboard the boat was put in the water and since then the boat has had continueous problems. The boat took in water for a week, nothing is in working order (including the electronics and mechanics), and I have worked non stop to make sure the boat is operational (and kept afloat). The capt has not received cash from the owner for funding of the vessel (crucial parts eg. Bilge pumps & safety euipment) and now i am worried that the same situation applies to us. 

I am unaware as to where I stand legally and any advice/ information I could read up on would be gratefully appreciated.

Thank you for your time and help.
Posted: Sunday, July 17, 2011 7:47 PM
Joined: 19/05/2008
Posts: 52

Hi Kevin. Thanks for your message. Sounds ominous. Have a look at your contract. What does it say about payment timescales? Who's paying you? The captain? A 'manager'? Is the owner really aware about the situation? Benjamin Maltby, Principal Consultant, matrixLloyd™.
Posted: Sunday, July 17, 2011 8:02 PM
Joined: 30/06/2008
Posts: 85

Its the captain's job to look after the well being of the crew, have you spkoen to him about your concerns? Make sure you do in a well thought out and unemotional way, keep your senses and perception trained on him during this period as it will probably tell you whether to start quietly sending out some CVs or not as the case may be. It sounds from your post ( and I am having to make an assumption here) that this is your first 'pay check'. The first one can often take time especially during a busy summer season depending on how many layers of managers/ accountant/ et al... are in the (food) chain before something happens. If cash flow is so hard, I suppose asking for a sub is out of the question?

Posted: Monday, July 18, 2011 12:17 PM
Joined: 21/02/2010
Posts: 3

I have spoken with my capt many times before, and asked him to check with the office who deals with the finacial standings of the boat. From what I understand there is a lady accountant that deals with all the bosses accounts and payments, I believe that the capt has spoken with her on two different occasions and nothing has come about it. I even checked with my offshore bank and they stated that there has been no international transactions, it has come to that stage now that the capt has not done anything and it is becoming very concerning.

The owner was suppose to arrive for charter 3 days ago and we (the crew and capt) has not heard anything from him. The capt has not recieved any cash for the boat (even the cash needed for the expenses on board). We ,the crew, are limited to what we can drink and eat. The office has only payed the capt and 1st mates salary (as stated previously). It was the 1st mates first paycheck aswell.

I have read the contract and the personal accountant is responsable for all payments and salaries and the owner is aware of the situation on board. The capt stated to me and the other deckhand on board that the owner is suppose to bring cash with him for when he arrives but like I said he has not arrived yet and there has been no call from him about his whereabouts.

This is my first pay cheque but the stew is owed for 2 months salary. In the contract it states our salary shall be deposited into a bank account of our choice on the last working day of evey month.

I am extremely gratefull for your help.
Posted: Tuesday, July 19, 2011 4:43 PM
Joined: 19/05/2008
Posts: 52

It's an unfortunate situation to be in. There's no obligation to work for a single moment without pay, so it's a matter of whether you believe what's being said to you. If you don't believe it, then it's time to walk and chase up what's owed.
Posted: Tuesday, July 19, 2011 9:27 PM
Joined: 03/03/2011
Posts: 100

Kevin I left a boat earlier this month and my pay was late. I suspected I would have problems so timed my day of departure so that the money would be in the bank before I stepped off, but it wasn't. The captain told me the matter was out of his hands so I contacted the management directly. Email is a good media for keeping records and this I did. After more than two weeks I finally did get paid but not without pinning the management company down to a final date for the funds to clear. I also contacted the London registry who's only real line of attack was to recommend a marine lawyer or union representation but this option didn't apply. I was prepared to go down the lawyer route if need be purely due to the sum I was owed (months salary and substantial untaken leave) but as soon as you say 'lawyer' expect big bills to come out of your payment. Seriously , from what you have said, the boat looks like a complete waste of your time, you may need to bite the bullet and leave immediately and put it all down to experience. Next time you are looking for a job, stay away from 20 year old stinkies that charter - there are some exceptions, but generally they are more trouble than they are worth. Before you choose a legal route, remember that the owner has much deeper pockets than you and can also afford to delay delay delay. good luck !
Posted: Thursday, July 21, 2011 10:48 AM
Joined: 21/02/2010
Posts: 3

Thank you so much for all your great advice. You have really helped in my decision to leave. I decided to leave after all. I did go to legths of getting written agreements from the captain, myself and a witness for confirmation of my salary. I now feel safer being off the boat and feel better about the receiving my outstanding wages. Kind regards and thank you again everyone for all the help.
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