Seamen to Drop Anchor Over Unpaid Wages

cruise shipThe executive board of the Panhellenic Seamen’s Union (PNO) decided on Friday to immobilize ships whose owners owe back-pay to their employees. The measure will apply from Thursday March, 27.

PNO will also proceed with a 24-hour nationwide strike on the day the Ministry of Shipping and the Aegean tables its bill on tourist vessels and other provisions,  and will join in the 24-hour nationwide strike announced by the General Confederation of Greek Workers (GSEE), on April 9.

PNO has sent an official announcement to the Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and Minister of Shipping and the Aegean Miltiadis Varvitsiotis, as well as the leaders of the Greek political parties, shipping companies and banks involved, informing them of the issue of unpaid wages. For the past two years, shipping companies have been taking advantage of the political and financial situation of Greece to stall salary payments to their employees, with some mariners working unpaid for as long as six months.

PNO said that it will start immobilization measures against its debtors at the port of Piraeus and extend its action to other ports across Greece. The union has in the past threatened to take action against six shipowners who owe their workers months of unpaid wages.



  1. This will be interesting to see the effectiveness of yet another PNO strike. Greek crews on foreign flag ships and those in the domestic service may have entirely different reactions. In the past PNO strikes on vessels operating overseas were largely ignored while the “domestic fleet” took a much greater militant role. Back pay has been a long standing problem for the smaller ship operators. Cash flow is a problem and there have been instances where crews have gone many months without pay. The best means to get the owner/operator’s attention is to ARREST the ship in port (pulling statutory documents) until adequate funds are secured for the crew. Mutiny is another.

  2. now that is smart strike during high tourist season. That will leave a good impression on the tourists. Tourism accounts of 16% of Greece’s GDP and these guys want to kill the golden goose.