The shabby, demeaning charade that is the Oceanic Group management of the QE2 continues to drag on and on and on. This is the situation as of today, June 4th, from information supplied by a source on board the shackled ocean liner.
Information supplied to Louis De Sousa allows us to see events on board as they are, rather than as others would no doubt like us to. The situation of the crew on board QE2 is nothing less than desperate.
You will recall that they went on strike as of May 15th in protest at two months’ unpaid wages, and the non issue of promised air tickets home for twenty of the mainly Ukrainian crew, right at the time when events in the Ukraine itself must have exacerbated their distress to intolerable levels. At that time, a crew of forty-eight- five Burmese cooks and cleaners, and forty- three Ukrainian technical and engineering staff- were still on board the QE2 in Dubai.
Without money or means of leaving, these men were, essentially, hostages.
When the news broke, the ivory tower dwellers in Dubai got their cashmere knickers in something of a knot, to put it mildly. A day or so after the story broke on the internet, the BBC came lumbering into the fray, and the shocking story gained fresh momentum. Wounded in the one place that really matters to them- their collective egos- the nonplussed paladins of Oceanic Group burbled out a series of promises, designed to lance the story at one go. To boot;
* Wages would be paid for the months of April and May.
* Seven of the crew would be flown home ‘within days’.
* The other thirteen crew members scheduled to leave the QE2 for home would be issued with flight tickets ‘soon’…
And, after a few days, Oceanic Group did, indeed, pay wages owed for the month of April. At the same time, five crew members were flown home, leaving a remaining skeleton staff of forty-three on board the QE2.
As a result of these moves, the crew formally called off the strike, and went back to work. That was then…..
Now- in June- the situation on board is as follows;
* Wages for May have still not been paid, despite Oceanic Group’s promises. and wages for June are now also in default. The crew are, once again, two months in arrears.
* Two men have still not had their flight tickets issued, despite promises that this would be done.
* The other thirteen, promised their flight tickets ‘soon’, have still had no definite date for their onward travel.
In other words, Oceanic Group has delivered just over half of what it promised. Do they honestly think that this is in any way acceptable?
This kind of mendacious, half hearted wheeling and dealing simply damages the corporate image of Oceanic Group in the eyes of the international community. In time, it must have an adverse effect on how people perceive them as trustworthy people to do business with.
I could live with that, as it stands. But when it still leaves forty-three men stranded in a foreign port, uncertain and unpaid, understandably worried about the events still engulfing their own countries, and having their strings jerked at random by a shabby cabal of filthy rich black holes of morality, then it becomes a different matter.
If there are any updates, I’ll post them as soon as they become available.
JUNE 6TH UPDATE FROM ON BOARD QE2
Word has come through from on board the QE2 that some eighteen of the remaining forty-three crew still on board will sign off and leave the ship on June 10th (next Tuesday) and will be fully paid when they do so. The remaining twenty-five will remain on board. These will only be paid up until April. There is no word on any replacements arriving for those slated to leave the liner.
Among the twenty leaving the ship are both the Captain and the Chief Engineer, both of whom will, apparently, be replaced. The other eighteen supposedly leaving the QE2 have no replacements lined up.
That will leave a skeleton staff of just twenty five men in total on board the moribund vessel.
This, again, is in direct contravention of yet another ‘promise’ that all crew would be paid up to May. And, with the wages for June also overdue, the remaining staff will, once again, be two months in default.
I wonder exactly how the posturing, pretentious buffoons of Oceanic Group expect these men- quite literally hostages to fortune- to take this latest kick in the teeth?
What it does go to show, yet again, is that the word of these shabby egotists in Dubai has as much worth as Monopoly money. Shocking and disgusting treatment of helpless men.