Rocking the boat

LAST UPDATED: 7 Oct, 2011 @ 16:52
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Rocking the boat

A PAIR of cruise liners have dropped anchor in Gibraltar and are refusing to move until a labour dispute is resolved.

The crews from the Spanish company Happy Cruises have now spent several days on board with most of the workers unable to enter the British colony due to a lack of visas.

It comes after Happy Cruises, part of the Quail Travel Group, abruptly ceased operation on September 24 and went into administration, cancelling all its trips, while their ships were still at sea.

The 300 crew members and employees aboard ‘Gemini’ received orders to go to Barcelona after landing passengers in Malaga but just before arriving were redirected to Gibraltar.

The Gemini then spent ‘three or four days’ going ‘in circles’ until it dropped anchor in Gibraltar alongside fellow ship Ocean Pearl.

Crucially among the crew members are 20 Peruvians and 30 Chileans who were hired by the Spanish company but who cannot leave the ship at the port of Gibraltar as they have no entry visa and have no way home.

Now sources from the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) have confirmed the workers are ‘very nervous’ but they have met with company representatives to discuss the payment of outstanding wages and how to help the foreign workers to be repatriated to their countries.

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