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Morgan welcomes news of stranded seafarers going home

30 July, 2007

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Workers' Rights Deputy Arthur Morgan has today welcomed the news that after a ten-week long dispute, the Russian crew members that were stranded off the Wexford coast on the MV Lillian will finally return home. Deputy Morgan said the Government must now make real efforts to ensure that the rights of all sea faring workers are protected.

The Louth TD said, "It is a disgrace that this dispute was allowed to continue for so long. The workers aboard the MV Lillian had not been paid since they boarded in April and even then their rates and working conditions were changed, not only that but the workers were not even fed properly at one stage for a total of three weeks. Workers at sea must be entitled to equal rights to those working on land.

"This system of floating sweatshops needs to be tackled by the Government immediately so that another Lillian-type dispute does not arise. We are seeing more and more of these disputes arising and, with the absence of any Government intervention, Irish trade unions are left to defend the rights and the safety of these workers. It is not only about pay and conditions but also about basic health and safety regulations not being adhered to. The state has an obligation to protect these workers and must make every effort to do so."


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