Published on Friday, May 29, 2020

Royal Caribbean faces lawsuit from Filipino crew member stuck on ship

Filipino crew members still stranded on ships have taken legal action in the US federal court in a desperate bid to speed up their repatriation.

A lawsuit was filed in a Miami court by Maunes Maglana, on behalf of all Filipino crew members stuck on Royal Caribbean-owned Celebrity Cruises ships.

The complaint claims crew are effectively being held against their will without a salary for more than two months.

Crew members are no longer working due to zero guests aboard and are reportedly being paid a nominal $400 per month.

The lawsuit claims Filipinos are being discriminated against and are being 'falsely imprisoned'.

The cruise line has also failed to provide adequate medical care for workers, it says.

Maglana had been told he would be flying home on six different dates which were all cancelled.

Maglana is currently stuck on the Celebrity Millennium ship which is docked in San Diego.

"Without a doubt, we are witnessing a human rights tragedy of immense proportions unfold before our very eyes," the lawsuit said.

Royal Caribbean Cruises chairman Richard Fain told the Miami Herald getting crew home is a complicated business due to the various travel restrictions in place including in the Philippines.

The Philippines had to temporarily halt repatriations due to overcrowded quarantine facilities.

Celebrity parent Royal Caribbean has repatriated about 17,000 crew members so far while more than 21,000 still remain on ships waiting to go home.

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