Ferry crew angry they took Macao Dragon liquidator at its word

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 08 October, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 08 October, 2011, 12:00am


More than 60 former crew members from failed fast ferry operator Macao Dragon yesterday complained of shabby and unfair treatment by liquidators following the company's collapse.

They claim they are owed at least a further two weeks' wages on top of other unpaid salary after they were pressed to continue crewing the firm's two ferries after the Macao Dragon Company went into liquidation on September 15. The ships, the 2,440 gross tonne Shen Long and Tian Long, are moored in the harbour's western approaches.

Ferry captain Vyvyan Harris said the 63 crew were given a verbal assurance during a meeting on September 17 with liquidators from Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu they would be employed on the same terms and conditions but on two days notice.

Harris thought this was because the liquidators believed they could sell the ferry company as a going concern or they were under pressure from the Marine Department to have crew onboard to meet maritime regulations. Marine rules insist there should be a minimum of four crew during normal weather conditions, but eight if there were emergency conditions such as typhoons.

The liquidators' offer, which was recorded on a mobile phone, was repeated in a draft employment contract dated September 20.

Harris said: 'At the end of the month, we didn't receive payment. When we went to the liquidators' office on October 3 they said there was no written contract and they had no money. Everybody is dreadfully upset. We thought we could rely on their word.'

The liquidators' did not respond for comment by last night.