Fishing crews chase $17m in unpaid wages

IN PORT: The Pacinui DTAN2
IN PORT: The Pacinui DTAN2

Wage claims totalling $17 million have been lodged against the owners of three foreign charter fishing vessels that sail out of Timaru.

Crews of the Sur Este 707, Pacinui and Dong Won 701 have begun proceedings with the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) for non-payment of wages dating back to 2007.

It follows walkoffs by 14 Pacinui and 21 Sur Este crew members in Timaru earlier this year.

Nelson lawyer Peter Dawson is acting for the crews and notified the Foreign Charter Vessels Select Committee on Thursday.

The three vessels are Korean flagged.

Sur Este 707 is chartered by Timaru company South East Resources Limited (SERL), with claims on behalf of 29 crews for $3.9m. The Pacinui and Dong Won 701 are chartered by Sanford.

Dawson is seeking $3.3m on behalf of 47 Pacinui crew and $10m on behalf of 134 Dong Won 701 crew.

In his submission Dawson asked the crews to complete their own daily time sheets on the work done on the vessels and compared them with official time sheets completed by Korean officers on the vessels.

The Timaru Herald