Right on this thread. Capt. Phoenix said so. You can PM him for the lawyers contact info.
I’ll do that.
Read up a few posts:
What does for the lawsuit “to go through” mean? Litigation takes years, and a defendant has 21 days after service just to answer the complaint.
Yes. I was amused by the “20 to 30 days for the lawsuit to go through” comment.
All I could imagine was that it was going to take 20 to 30 days for the MEBA to come up with the bond money.
Lawyers who do this type of work can normally file a verified complaint and obtain the arrest of the ship overnight. The issue most likely to slow down the arrest is getting MEBA to post the bond required by the US Marshal.
It’s a very small ship in a very large large port. There must be plenty of willing substitute custodians anxious for the job of taking custody of the ship and husbanding it, and an affordable underutilized dock somewhere up river in Wilmington to keep it.
How much are the typical arrest bonds these days?
I have no idea what the going rate for bonds and substitute custodians are, I haven’t done that in 20 years. In my experience the seized vessel was actively working and productive, so the ownwer appeared immediately with a bond to get the vessel released and back to work.
These issues aside, it’s still possible to name the owner/operator as co-defendants and not serve the vessel immediately, but maintain the possibility that it could happen. But if the vessel has little value and no work, that’s probably an empty threat. But none of that explains the 20 to 30 days. Even if the vessel was arrested and no one answered for it, it’s still going to take months at the least to get any funds. And if other lien holders come forward, and there are certainly to be some, litigation is still needed.
I have seen filing the complaint without executing the order for arrest result in prompt payment. I’ve also seen it result in a bankruptcy filing the day before the answer was due. I’ve seen the bank holding the ship’s preferred mortgage pay the crew in exchange for assignment of the crew claims.
If the owner files an answer instead of filing for bankruptcy, what can the answer say? There are really only three choices: we admit we owe the crew wages; we deny we owe the crew any wages because they have already been paid; or we admit we owe the crew some wages, but dispute the amount claimed. None of those answers takes the owners very far.
That ship is probably worth at least $500,000. Its worth auctioning it off.
My guess is that the owner is probably still due payments from the government cargo contracts. The crew might want to name the Government in the lawsuit, especially if there is any government cargo still onboard, and try to attach the cargo and any payments due to the company from the government.
The crew might try to jointly arrest the ship with the local vendors. The local vendors are in the best position to arrest the ship because they have the contacts to arrange for a reasonable cost substitute custodian and cheap wharfage.
There may be some merit to having some of the crew file a state court receivership case seeking the appointment of a receiver to take over and run the insolvent company. Hopefully that receiver would pay the crew with priority. It would at least stop the owners from paying themselves. But that would probably result in the company filing for chapter 11 bankruptcy so that owners could continue to run the company and pay themselves with the crew’s money.
I think the crew will eventually get paid, if MEBA provides lawyers to represent them. Without lawyers, it’s unlikely that the crew will ever get paid. Probably six to 18 months to see a check if the owners cannot pay, but it could be longer.
MEBA should really go after TAL and make an example out of them, to MEBAs members, potential future pledges, and to other shipowners. MEBA should also make sure that the officers get placed in new MEBA jobs.
Couldn’t agree more
Although the ship is US flag and the USA is not signatory to the MLC 2006 convention, the ship trades to countries that are signatory to MLC 2006 convention. The class society has probably issued Statement of Voluntary Compliance to MLC 2006. It would be required by those port states.
Maybe crew could confirm that and request class to revoke the SOVC?
DNV was requiring them to be compliant but they changed class societies last December and I’m not sure even what organization they are using now.
The crew can confirm the SOVC onboard. There should also be complaint procedure in place.
Is Class aware that the USCG has detained the ship for a million deficiencies? Does class know about the permit to proceed. Does class know they are insolvent.
Insolvency is a serious and immediate unseaworthy condition. There is no way that an insolvent ship should be issued a permit to proceed. Nor should it be allowed to remain in class.
Any news about the other TAL ship in Jacksonville?
Without offering a lot of specifics, Geysir has been plagued by morale, lack of pay and horrific on board conditions. They have had a very rough go of things.
Not at all. My regular job is union but I work side jobs that are non-union. And while I have been treated well by the non-union employers (mostly universities), the difference is notable as far as pay and other issues are concerned.
I had visited Geysir some eight or nine years ago. Things weren’t great back then, either. A really nice bunch of guys, but little money for repairs. I got the sense they were doing what they could with the proverbial bailing wire and chewing gum, with a little Red Hand thrown in for good measure. They still had that run to the Azores, I think, so they were still getting paid, but the pay wasn’t great.
According to marine traffic, it took them a month to cross the Atlantic. Slow steaming to conserve limited fuel? A lot of drifting?
Hopefully, they are in contact with MEBA and getting some help.
I’d love to hear the specifics on this one.
I would have to assume that Class is very much aware of the situation. In my days at ABS, we would be called for vessels that had SOLAS and other deficiencies and work to rectify them. As far as solvency, certain vessel owners/operators would be marked “Red Flagged” as being deficient in other payments and required an estimate of fees to be paid before attendance.
Trying not to disturb the Red Hand. . . . gotta go slow.
They use Nippon Kaiji Kyokai or Class NK now.