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Fifteen Royal Caribbean crew members go on hunger strike until bosses agree to let them go home

Fifteen Royal Caribbean crew members go on HUNGER STRIKE until bosses agree to let them go home after being stranded on cruise ship at sea for almost two months amid coronavirus pandemic 

  • The 15 crew members have not eaten since Thursday afternoon, out of desperation and after waiting close to two months out at sea stranded 
  • ‘My mental health is degrading,’ one of the crew members, who all wished to remain anonymous out of fear of retribution from the cruise lines 
  • According to Jonathan Fishman, a spokesman for the company, Royal Caribbean is working with its crew members 
  • On Sunday, Royal Caribbean International CEO Michael Bayley announced that the company would sign an agreement with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to repatriate crew ASAP. 
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

Several Romanian crew members on the Royal Caribeean’s Navigator of the Seas have gone on a hunger strike while they wait for the company to agree to send them home. 

The 15 crew members have not eaten since Thursday afternoon, out of desperation and after waiting close to two months out at sea stranded because of COVID-19.

‘My mental health is degrading,’ one of the crew members, who all wished to remain anonymous out of fear of retribution from the cruise lines, explained to the Miami Herald. ‘We do not have any more hope.’ 

The employees claim the company has threatened to punish workers if they talk to journalists.

The 15 crew members aboard the Royal Caribeean’s Navigator of the Seas have not eaten since Thursday afternoon, out of desperation and after waiting close to two months out at sea stranded (stock)

According to Jonathan Fishman, a spokesman for the company, Royal Caribbean is working with its crew members.  

‘The situation was resolved this morning after an amicable discussion between our captain and our crew members,’ he said in an email on Friday.

But the crew members declared that they won’t halt their hunger strike until they can receive proof that they are going home. 

On Sunday, Royal Caribbean International CEO Michael Bayley announced that the company would sign an agreement with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to repatriate crew ASAP. 

On Sunday, Royal Caribbean International CEO Michael Bayley announced that the company would sign an agreement with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to repatriate crew ASAP

On Sunday, Royal Caribbean International CEO Michael Bayley announced that the company would sign an agreement with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to repatriate crew ASAP

On Wednesday, the group was transferred from the Anthem of the Seas ship on the company's private island in the Bahamas. This was ahead of a scheduled flight from Miami to Romania on May 16 (the boat on may 4)

On Wednesday, the group was transferred from the Anthem of the Seas ship on the company’s private island in the Bahamas. This was ahead of a scheduled flight from Miami to Romania on May 16 (the boat on may 4)

The CDC required that company executives sign a legal agreement holding them accountable for following the agency’s rules. This includes providing disembarking crew with masks and with private transportation as they are sent home. 

So far, Royal Caribbean has allowed 16 people to all go home using the process. All, are American citizens.

The 15 crew members are currently on board the Navigator of the Seas, which is scheduled to dock in PortMiami on May 10. The staff would be hoping to be flown from Miami. 

On Wednesday, the group was transferred from the Anthem of the Seas ship on the company’s private island in the Bahamas. This was ahead of a scheduled flight from Miami to Romania on May 16. 

But on Thursday, Bailey announced that the group would be transferred to the Enchantment of the Seas and flown from Barbados to Romania on May 21. 

No explanation was provided as to the delay but it added to the pile up of delays the group has experienced since they were told they were first going home on March 30. 

The 15 crew members are currently on board the Navigator of the Seas, which is scheduled to dock in PortMiami (pictured) on May 10. The staff would be hoping to be flown from Miami

The 15 crew members are currently on board the Navigator of the Seas, which is scheduled to dock in PortMiami (pictured) on May 10. The staff would be hoping to be flown from Miami

According to Fishman, some 14,000 of its 70,000 ship employees have been repatriated. For the workers, the move is their last resort.

‘We started this hunger strike because someone needs to do something,’ one said. ‘The point is our mental health. The mental health is dropping down.’

This comes a week after after a Royal Caribbean crew member went overboard while on the Jewel of the Seas ship near Greece. His body has not been found. 

Bailey stressed in a letter to employees that counseling services were available.

‘Crew life has unique stresses and pressures,’ he wrote last week. ‘Just recently,we suffered the tragic loss of a colleague aboard Jewel, and our hearts go out to his family, friends and colleagues.’ 

One of the Romanian crew members has a sick father back home, making the distance all the more unbearable. 

‘Only thinking about something happening to him, I can barely get out of bed in the morning,’ he said. ‘This ship will be for two days in Miami. Why can’t they send us in an airplane?’  



Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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