Egyptian sailors end strike in Australian waters
The Wadi Alkarm
Bishoy Ramzy

Maritime Union of Australia brokered a successful deal on Thursday between striking Egyptian sailors and ship captain over delayed payments.

The crewmen of the Egyptian coal carrier Wadi Alkarm, docked in Port Kembla for a week, have refused to resume sailing with their company until they get their wages.

The workers were protesting against the approach of the Egyptian shipping company against them.

The Australian newspaper “Illawarra Mercury”, said that The Wadi Alkarm has been docked off Wollongong since Thursday night when eleven crewmen refused to continue sailing with the company, Egyptian-owned National Navigation Co.

The newspaper added that the crew members told Australian International Transport Workers’ Federation representatives that their wags had been halved, adding that they had been prohibited from accessing food and water between 7pm and 7am daily.

Maritime Union of Australia branch secretary Gary Keane managed to broker a deal between the Egyptian company and its crew members.

Keane praised the deal, describing it as a great result. The Australian newspaper said that the crewmen were expected to catch a flight home from Sydney last night.

During the seven-day strike the sailors have complained that the Egyptian shipping company’s officials made threatening calls to their families.

A crew member from Alexandria said on condition of anonymity to “Illawarra Mercury” that the officials of the company called his mother threatening to harm his son unless he flew home or continue sailing with the ship.

The said that four men have accepted the company’s offer to return to their country at an early stage of negotiations, while seven others refused to leave until getting their wages.

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