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Crew Union Praises Costa Post-Concordia Tragedy

Tradewinds reports in their February 3rd edition that the local transport union Federazione Italiana Transport ("FIT") has praised Costa Cruises for their handling of the crew's welfare following the COSTA CONCORDIA tragedy. It has been described as "exemplary." FIT reports that Costa has a Collective Bargaining Agreement ("CBA") in place, which provides for compensation payments to deceased crew's family with a further EUR 60,000 (US $79,000) compensation payment to be made to families of the deceased from the union's welfare fund.

FIT also reports that Costa are applying the Maritime Labor Convention 2006 and have signed the Social Accountability standard 8000. This means that Costa are reportedly managing the situation in line with its obligations under the CBA and international crew welfare conventions. After the accident, the rescued crew were reportedly placed in hotels with pocket money provided by the company. A consolidated salary, paying crew up to the end of their employment contract, was also paid. Crew will also be paid up to another $3,570 for their personal losses and have been offered post-trauma stress counseling at the cruise line's expense. The cruise line has also paid for family of the injured crew to visit them in the hospital.

All but approximately 20 of the rescued crew have been repatriated back home. Three crew were found dead, while two more remain missing.

There has been some discussion in the local bar about the potential for crew involved in this tragedy bringing claims against Costa in the United States. Discussion of jurisdiction, choice of law and forum non conveniens defenses aside, reports such as this one should assist Costa in repelling some of the substantive arguments within individual claims of crew which may find themselves choosing to sue here in the United States.

If you are interested in receiving a complete copy of the Tradewinds article or wish to contact me, you may do so at miamipandi@comcast.net.

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