Costa Wins Praise From Union For Crew Agreement

Costa Cruises has won support from local transport union Federazione Italiana Transporti (FIT) for its handling of the crew’s welfare following the Costa Concordia tragedy.
The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) affiliate reached an agreement with the cruise company last week that the union tells TradeWinds it is happy with.
Spokesperson Leonard Di Fiori tells TradeWinds: “Costa has always been good with the crew, we have a collective bargaining agreement [CBA] with them and they are also applying the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 and have signed the Social Accountability standard 8000 [SA 8000].”
He says the response to the crew since the accident has been in line with its obligations to the CBA and welfare conventions.
Rescued crew were put in a hotel with pocket money provided by the company.
A consolidated salary, paying crew up to the end of their employment contract, was also paid out with a minimum set at two months’ pay.
Crew will further be paid up to $3,570 for personal losses. The company has also offered to provide post-trauma stress counselling at its expense and will contact employees at a later date to see if help is needed.
Three crew were found dead, including two Peruvians and one Hungarian, while two more are still missing, an Italian and an Indonesian.
Compensation payments have been made to the deceased crew’s family in line with the union’s two CBAs with Costa, one covering Italian and the other non-domiciled crew.
A further EUR 60,000 ($79,000) compensation payment will be made to families of the deceased through the union’s welfare fund.
Di Fiore adds that all but 20 of the crew have now been repatriated.
The delay over the remaining crew is largely due to visa problems, he says.
One Indonesian crew member is in a critical condition in a Siena hospital, while a Russian seafarer is in a Rome hospital.
According to the union, Costa has paid for family of the injured crew to visit them in hospital.
However, the union is holding back on commenting on its support for the ship’s captain, 57-year-old Francesco Schettino, who is currently under house arrest.
Di Fiori tells TradeWinds that although it has been offering full support for the crew, it is maintaining a “neutral” position on the master until a full investigation has been carried out.
He adds that there has been a lot of misinformation surrounding the night the cruiseship hit the rocks at the Island of Giglio.
He says he believes the crew’s response was exemplary and the problems in evacuating the ship were largely down to the delays in handing down instructions.

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