Viet Nam News
BÌNH ĐỊNH — Fishermen in the south central coastal province of Bình Định have asked two companies to pay compensation for damage to their new steel ships.
Phan Trọng Hổ, director of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said 19 fishermen families have sent a proposal to the department asking Nam Triệu and Đại Nguyên Dương companies in the northern province of Nam Định for compensation of VNĐ45.6 billion (more than US$2 million), zing.vn reported.
In June this year, the two shipbuilders were found to be violating shipbuilding contracts, delivering dozens of substandard steel fishing ships to the fishermen.
The fishermen claimed their new steel ships built in accordance with Decree 67 of the Government were damaged after only a short time of use and they have laid on the shore while waiting for repairs for the past nine months.
Hổ said 14 families asked Nam Triệu One Member Limited Company to pay VNĐ36.5 billion and five other families asked Đại Nguyên Dương Co., Ltd to compensate them with more than VNĐ9 billion.
The two businesses are expected to respond to the proposal on Friday. The department will let the two sides negotiate to reach a deal.
“If negotiations fail, the department will instruct fishermen to sue the shipbuilding companies on the basis of the signed contract. The Bình Định Lawyer Association is also ready to support and protect the interests of the fishermen for free," Hổ said.
According to the fishermen, the compensation includes the costs of repair, hiring of labourers, towing vessels, damaged seafood, profits lost and principal and interest payments to banks.
Earlier, on November 30, the department organised a meeting between the fishermen and representatives of the two enterprises. At this meeting, 19 steel ship owners asked the two companies to compensate them with VNĐ37 billion. Later, they recalculated the damages and asked the companies for an extra VNĐ8.6 billion in compensation.
Trần Châu, vice chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, said the two shipbuilders have agreed to pay some damages to the fishermen. However, the companies said they need to review the amount and items on the compensation list.
The province will hold a meeting to resolve the problem in the near future, Châu said. — VNS