Page last updated at 19:46 GMT, Thursday, 22 May 2008 20:46 UK

Cargo ship stranded by wage row

Elvita 1. Copyright
The Elvita 1 is at Sandbank port near Dunoon

A cargo ship on the Holy Loch is at the centre of an industrial dispute involving its Eastern European crew.

The ElVita 1 was unloading stone at the port of Sandbank, near Dunoon, when 10 seafarers closed the hatches in a dispute over pay.

The Russian and Ukranian crew claim they are owed up to five months wages, worth up to 53,000.

Inspectors from the International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) are trying to help settle the dispute.

ITF inspectors Tommy Molloy and Neil Keith are on board the ship and pressing the Russian managers, Baff Vyborg, to settle the claim.

The owners have made repeated promises to pay them in the next port, but the money has just not materialised
Tommy Molloy, ITF inspector
Mr Molloy said: "We are sorry the cargo owner has been dragged into the dispute, but the crew felt they had no option but to refuse to unload the cargo.

"Some of them have not been paid for five months, and none of them have been paid in accordance with the ITF agreement.

"The owners have made repeated promises to pay them in the next port, but the money has just not materialised."

Mr Molloy said the situation on board the 29-year-old vessel had been so bad that the former charterer had paid for food and fuel for the crew.

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