Trai Thien, the air cargo carrier and shipping service provider, has not paid salaries to its staff for the last five months. No ship can weigh anchor and steam off to the high seas, and no aircraft can take off at this moment. Trai Thien’s operation has become paralyzed.
Trai Thien Group made debut on October 16, 2009, announcing the business strategy on making heavy investment in maritime transport and the aviation market. Right at opening ceremony, Trai Thien announced the listing of its shares on the US bourse. It has also got the license to set up Trai Thien Air Cargo.
However, to date, the obtaining of the license proves to be the only activity of the group in the aviation market. Regarding the maritime transport, Trai Thien has six operational ships. However, the crews of the ships all say “they have not got pay for the last five months.”
“We have not got pay for November and December of 2010 and for the first three months of the year. We are living in difficulties,” said a sailor of a Trai Thien’s ship. “We have to borrow money from friends and acquaintances to feed out families”.
It is estimated that Trai Thien has to pay 200-220 million dong per month to the crew of a ship. This means that Trai Thien is owing one billion dong to every ship.
Another sailor said “the company promised to pay salaries two months ago, but he still has not got any dong so far. If the company does not pay today, we will not keep the ships in operation any more,” he told VnExpress on April 15.
Trai Thien promised to pay the sailor four million dong a month. His ship is now docking at Hai Phong Port which has been loaded with cargo, but has not left the port.
Not only Trai Thien’s crew, but all the staff of the company are complaining of the tardiness in salary pay, and has put big difficulties in their lives.
According to VnExpress, the office of the President of Trai Thien Group on Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Road in district 3 in HCM City, is closed. It seems that the office has been not operational for a long time. The area in front of the office has become the parking lot of the clients who go to the café next to the office.
“Sometimes I can see some people – they are security guards. However, they leave just after several minutes,” a local resident said.
Meanwhile, the headquarter of the group, at No.253 Khuong Viet in Tan Phu District in HCM City, is also quiet with just three security guards.
“The company is owing me six months pay. My salary is low, only 3.2 million dong a month. But I still cannot get the pay,” a security guard complained.
Nguyen Van Thang, Deputy General Director of Trai Thien Maritime Transport Development Company, also confirmed that he has not got pay for the last many years.
“The president still cannot find the financial sources for the company,” Thang said. “We have asked the president to return from the US to settle the problems. He has promised to return this month, but I am not sure”.
VnExpress has quoted an official from the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam CAAV as saying that the official in October, 2010 received a call from Trai Thien’s finance director, who said “Trai Thien is trying to arrange money to pay to staff.”
The official said Trai Thien has not provided air services yet, therefore, CAAV still cannot request the air carrier to report its financial situation.
“If the air carrier does not exploit the market two years after the day of receiving the license, CAAV will instruct them to make report and consider revoking the right to provide transport services.