Vinashinline continues to owe the crew billions of VND in wages
Dozens of sailors have demanded unpaid wages that Vinashinline has failed to pay dating back as far as 2010. Among these sailors, there are captains and chief mechanics, including salaries from three to nine months.
Sailor Vu Son Hai, the electrical officer on the Hoa Sen is owed five-months or VND60 million (USD2,875) salary. Sailor Vu Sy Uyen is owed four-months salary worth VND133.7 million (USD6,400).
Other crews that previously worked for Vinashinlines are also suffering similar circumstances. For example, the crew of the Vinashin Liner 2 are owed VND201 million (VND9,630) to engineers and VND218 million (USD10,445) to its captain Nguyen Hai Son.
According to the sailors, Vinashinlines was allocated credit to pay salaries for its employees. However, Vinashinlines said that only sailors who were full staff, paying social insurance in Vinashinlines can be paid. However a majority of the employees were temporary workers, including captain, mate, and chief mechanic.
Following the outcry a crew member said, “In their latest promise, they committed to pay for us on April 10, but then they delayed things again until next month.”.
Deputy Managing Director of Vinashinlines Do Dung answering journalists on April 19, admitted, “Due to economic difficulties, most of our sailors are suffering due to unpaid salaries.”
According to Dung, after Vinashin was restructured, Vinashinlines was transferred to Vinalines. The move followed Prime Ministerial Decision No. 87 requiring the Vietnam Development Bank (VDB) to allot capital for Vinashinlines at a preferential interest of 0% to help pay salaries and social insurance contributions.
“However, the bank has strict regulations, so we’re finding it difficult to disburse. Until now only a sixth of total unpaid salaries has been disbursed”, Dung said.
The loan from the VDB will be divided into four tranches. Only VND4 billion (USD191,662) out of VND29 billions (USD1.4 million) was disbursed so unpaid salaries won’t be solved soon.
Dung shared, “Sailors’ salaries will be transferred directly to their bank accounts by the bank, but according to their regulations they’ll only pay the sailors who signed social insurance and labour contracts with Vinashinlines."
However, a specific characteristic of maritime transport is the use of temporary employees. They accounted for 30% of Vinashinlines’ total workforce, including officers, captains, mates, and chief mechanics.
“When we hire these sailors, most of them had social insurances in their official workplaces, so we don’t need to pay for their social insurances anymore. That is the reason why these sailors’ salaries haven’t been paid, Vinashinlines never discriminates against them”, Dung affirmed.
In a working session with sailor representatives on April 17, Dung committed the company to paying them one month’s salary in advance at the end of April with the remainder paid gradually depending on their particular cases.
“Paying the sailors is simple, but paying for officers will be more difficult because their salaries are much higher. For example, the salary of Hoa Sen Ship’s captain is ten times higher than normal ship hands.”
A list of unpaid sailors