Accessibility/Mobile Features
Skip Navigation
Skip to Content
Editorial News
Classified Sites

The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Dispute partially settled in strike that saw sailors without food for 2 weeks.

OSHAWA, Ont. - A labour dispute that saw a cargo ship with 18 sailors and their captain stuck in Canada for two weeks without food and water has been partially resolved.

A union said Tuesday eight of the Romanian sailors and their Russian captain on a ship in the Port of Oshawa, Ont., have been given three months' worth of wages that were owed them.

Seafarers' International Union of Canada added they will be flying home, while the others will stay to handle cargo the crew wouldn't deliver during their strike that began Friday.

"We've gotten confirmation that April, May and June wages are paid for," said Vince Giannopoulos, an inspector for the union. "We're just waiting for the crewing agency to issue visas so the crew can travel."

Giannopoulos said the cargo — 18,000 tonnes of steel pipes and coils — is "the only leverage" the crew had after it was "abandoned" by the ship's owner, German firm Intersee, which he said is undergoing financial problems.

The Fritz arrived from Europe, and was anchored off the coast of Cornwall, Ont., since mid-June while the crew went without any contact with the ship's owner, he said.

It entered the Port of Oshawa, Ont., on Thursday.

If they were to unload the cargo, the sailors' employer would have nothing to lose if they simply not pay them, Giannopoulos said.

Intersee, which he said provided the wages along with a liquidation firm, did not respond to requests for comment.

Giannopoulos said the sailors went without food and water for two weeks and got so desperate they yelled at passing fishermen for gear so they could catch something to eat, though supplies were later delivered by supporters.

He added that two-thirds of the cargo will be offloaded locally, while the other third will make for Toledo, Ohio., though the details of the remaining sailors' involvement are yet uncertain.

Negotiations are still ongoing, Giannopoulos said, and it may hinge on when the nine get home as the sailors have strong bonds.

"They're not going to sail anywhere until their brothers are settled," he said.

Port CEO Donna Taylor said the port contacted the local Romanian community and a sailors' welfare charity, which provided the sailors with food and supplies.

"I've been here for 37 years and I have never ever had this happen," she added.

— By Ethan Lou in Toronto

  • Rate this Rate This Star Icon
  • This article has not yet been rated.
  • We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high. If you thought it was well written, do the same. If it doesn’t meet your standards, mark it accordingly.

    You can also register and/or login to the site and join the conversation by leaving a comment.

    Rate it yourself by rolling over the stars and clicking when you reach your desired rating. We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high.

Sort by: Newest to Oldest | Oldest to Newest | Most Popular 0 Commentscomment icon

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is register and/or login and you can join the conversation and give your feedback.

There are no comments at the moment. Be the first to post a comment below.

Post Your Commentcomment icon

  • You have characters left

The Brandon Sun does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. Comments are moderated before publication. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.


Make text: Larger | Smaller

Election 2014
Brandon Sun Business Directory
The First World War at 100
Why Not Minot?
Welcome to Winnipeg

Social Media