News Summary: Greek sailors unpaid for months

News Summary: Greek ferry crews face months without pay as financial crisis batters industry

Associated Press
News Summary: Greek sailors unpaid for months

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In this photo taken on Friday, March 1, 2013, an unpaid crewman looks out of a ferry's side door into the main Greek port of Piraeus. With the financial crisis hitting Greek coastal shipping hard, hundreds of crewmen for ferries have gone unpaid for months. Many end up living on board the ships while they wait to get paid. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

NO PAY BLUES: Hundreds of sailors, mechanics, stewards and others who work on Greek ferries have been going unpaid for months at a time, according to seamen's unions. And their patience is wearing thin.

THE PROBLEM: Like every other sector in Greece, shipping has been hit hard by the country's financial crisis. For ferry crews, there's an added twist. Often hundreds of miles away from home and with nowhere else to go, most end up living on the ferries until they can get paid, their families surviving on money borrowed from friends and relatives.

THE BACKDROP: Ferries are the lifeblood of Greece. Many of the nation's more than 100 inhabited islands depend on ferries for supplies of everything from food and medicine to fuel and machinery spare parts, as well as to get agricultural products to urban markets.

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