The ITF has come to the aid of a seafarer’s bereaved family at a time when they needed maximum support.
Nelson Jack Pereira, a 50-year-old Indian national, was a fitter on the United Arab Emirates (UAE)-flagged Folk Elegant. On 11 March 2018, he suffered a massive cardiac arrest while working on board the ship.
The shock of Mr Periera’s sudden death had serious consequences for his widow, Theresa, who suffered a paralytic stroke and lost her eyesight. “It seems she lost 20 years of her life in just three months,” said Louis Gomes, organiser for the National Union of Seafarers of India (NUSI) and the ITF inspector in Mumbai.
The shipowners offered the family USD$12,000 compensation, in line with UAE laws. However, Mr Periera was covered by the seafarers’ contract agreed with NUSI and so his family were entitled to compensation in line with that.
The ITF then “effortlessly fought” for compensation at the right level, amounting to USD$102,308, and was successful in winning this sum to aid the grieving family. Not only was Theresa Periera incapacitated and facing mounting medical bills, but she also had to care for her two young sons.
Louis Gomes commented that: “we could not wipe Mrs Periera’s tears, but we tried our best to provide a financial security to sustain her family. We hope that she regains her eyesight and recovers from this trauma”.
Finlay McIntosh, ITF inspectorate coordination supervisor, welcomed the successful compensation in line with the ITF agreement and said: “this is a very sad case for the family, but at least the widow will have some greater financial security as a result of the work of Louis Gomes and the NUSI”.