|Comments and Observations:||ITF (25 October 2021)|
• Vessel is owned by a state-owned company,
• Some of the crews have expired health certificates
Continues communications with principals of the vessel via email. No progress from their side except an MoA with their inhouse union permitting for now and in future whenever the company is in financial troubles the crew can be paid 2 months late.
Other (29 October 2021)
From IGP&I through ICS
I have contacted the American Club who have informed me that having spoken to their member, crew wages have been paid. There was a slight issue relating to the evidence of payment as payment was made intra-Algerian bank transfer and not swift which is currently trying to be resolved by ITF and the member. They have also been informed that the crew have not made a complaint.
ITF (4 November 2021)
One crewmember needs urgent surgery for a leaking heart valve.
Owners not cooperative and not willing to accept ITF assistance for closing the wages related non-conformities.
ITF (5 November 2021)
From ITF Inspector BELGIUM
Kindly note that I boarded the vessel for a first time on September 7th 2021 and since that date almost weekly.
The principals, Mr Aliane Abdelkim, contacted me earlier today in respect of the owed payments to the crew and confirmed they are working to settlement of all outstanding wages including the payment of October 2021 wages. The replacement of the companies CEO apparently changed the situation.
At present CNAN made bank transfers for wages due for August and September 2021. After talking with the crew earlier this week, one may conclude “some” payments were indeed made and received for payments of August and September 2021 wages. However, at present it is still not possible to verify if made payments are in line with the applicable terms and conditions as per SEA and CBA. This mainly because of the absence of proper wages accounts, overtime records and other required documents/records.
Since joining date of all crew it is impossible to verify for each seafarer:
Correct payment of all wages components:
E.g. : Paid overtime, which is believed not to be paid except partly for the month of September;
E.g. : Leave pay, which is paid during the annual leave but no leave report available which is required under standard A2.2.2.
E.g. : Correct payment of various premiums (e.g. milage, zone, seniority in rank and in company, etc…)
As payments of October 2021 wages are today not made (confirmed by principals this morning by telcon) and as CNAN is still working on the overtime payments and are still documenting other entitlements to verify correct payments I need to conclude that up till now the totality of all outstanding remuneration and contractual entitlements are NOT duly paid and settled.
For the ITF the case can be only considered as being resolved if all outstanding wages have been paid in full. Once the Belgian PSC and involved authorities confirm correct payment of outstanding remunerations and contractual entitlements we will take the same position and inform accordingly.
As for the living conditions on board, at present there is sufficient provisions including drinking water for the coming days – delivery of provisions expected in the next days. Fresh water and MGO sufficient to guarantee decent living conditions.
The past days a number of seafarers consulted the doctor for medical assistance and one of the AB’s is indeed recovering positive from heart surgery.
Up till now, CNAN made no steps to replace the crew who completed the maximum duration of service.
(Please note that there are more vessels from CNAN detained in other European ports where situation on payment of wages is similare as on the TIMGAD.)
Govt. of Belgium (5 November 2021)
From DG Shipping
Please allow me to provide you with more information concerning the vessel TIMGAD that has been detained in our port of Ghent since 6 September 2021. Several inspections have taken place since then, a local ITF representative was also present during some of these inspections and – for now – the situation on board was deemed sufficient in order for the seafarers to remain on board. We are monitoring the situation closely should there be any change.
The shipowner was given a deadline of 27/10/2021 to resolve the issue of the wages. As this was not done by this date due to lack of evidence from the shipowner, we confirmed that the seafarers where abandoned as per MLC A2.5.2, §2 (c).
The seafarers had confirmed that they were paid for the months of August and September in written statements. This was confirmed by one-on-one interviews between each seafarer and our PSCO’s during an additional inspection on 29/10/2021. They could also show our PSCO’s that they had received a bank payment from the shipowner so we no longer considered seafarers as abandoned as per MLC A2.5.2, §2 (c). There are still some issue relating to the payment of wages as we haven’t yet received proper wage accounts as per MLC A2.2,§2. This is listed as a deficiency for the shipowner to resolve.
The crew member that required surgery stayed in a hotel awaiting his surgery. This surgery already took place on 27 October 2021 in Ghent University Hospital. He was transferred to the AZ St.-Lucas hospital in Ghent a week later for further recovery. His sister, who lives in Paris, was with him.
We have repeatedly contacted the shipowner and the flag State in order to repatriate seafarers as soon as possible and will also reach out to the flag State via our embassy. We are also in contact with the agent and the charterer to resolve this issue quickly.
Govt. of Algeria (22 November 2021)
The Permanent Mission of the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria to the United Nations Office in Geneva and other international organisations in Switzerland presents its compliments to the International Labour Office - Cabinet and Director General - and to the International Labour Office - Director General - in reference to the publication by the ILO on the database of reported cases of abandonment of seafarers, of a report concerning the situation of the Algerian vessel TIMGAD N/V subject to an "abandonment procedure", following the notification of the Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) dated 25 October 2021, has the honour to provide the following information:
-The payment of salaries and supplements to the salaries of the crew members of the vessel TIMGAD N/V (months of August, September and October 2021) has been made (attachment);
-The change of the ship's crew is awaiting the issuance of visas by the Belgian Embassy in Algeria. As such, the new relief team has been constituted and will soon be able to replace the crew having exceeded the maximum duration at sea.
-The ITF trade union representative has been duly informed of the steps taken by the Algerian authorities to regularise the situation of the crew of the vessel TIMGAD N/V. Nevertheless, the ITF has initiated a procedure with the ILO to declare the abandonment of the vessel in spite of the information and evidence provided by the Algerian side, and the guarantees provided to the competent Belgian authorities, including the constitution of a financial case covering the fine of the labour inspection procedure, amounting to 420,000 euros.
In view of the above, the Permanent Mission requests the International Labour Office to freeze the "abandonment procedure" of the vessel TIMGAD N/V in order to allow for an amicable settlement of this issue within the framework of social dialogue, taking into account the guarantees given and the measures already taken by the Algerian authorities for the regularisation of the situation of the crew members