Aegean staff have been relying on compensation and benefits to support families: EY

Unpaid wages at $3.75m as Aegean gets green light to pay personnel.

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Updated on 13 Nov 2018 00:03 GMT

It would seem that last week's decision by the US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York to authorize Aegean Marine Petroleum Network Inc to pay unpaid wages, fees, reimbursable expenses and employee benefits, could not have come soon enough for its several hundred members of staff, based on details disclosed by Ernst and Young (EY) regarding amounts owed to personnel and how they were paying for regular living expenses.

According to EY, "it appears that the vast majority of the Debtors' Employees rely exclusively on their compensation and benefits to pay their daily living expenses and to support their families".

Elaborating on the situation further, the restructuring advisor added: "The Employees will be exposed to significant financial hardships if the Debtors are not permitted to continue paying wages and salaries, providing employee benefits, and maintaining certain programs benefiting the Employees in the ordinary course of business."

In the interim order, Aegean was authorized to pay an amount not exceeding $4.75m to cover compensation and withholding obligations; benefits and entitlements; and other employee benefits. The amount is based on the $4.75m interim amount specified by EY.

In EY's list of payments, unpaid wages is the largest figure at $3.75m (or 78.9 percent of the total), followed by $620,000 for employer taxes, $180,000 for unpaid withholding obligations, $70,000 for health insurance benefits, $51,000 for unpaid allowances, and $30,000 for unpaid independent contractor fees.

Aegean is said to currently employ 849 members of staff. Geographically, the breakdown is as follows:

ARA (Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp):
Offshore 15; Onshore 16

Offshore 0; Onshore 14

North Africa:
Offshore 61; Onshore 2

South Africa:
Offshore 84; Onshore 5

South Europe:
Offshore 221; Onshore 148

Offshore 32; Onshore 90

Offshore 15; Onshore 17

Other countries:
Offshore 79; Onshore 38

Expat employees:
Offshore 0: Onshore 12

Total Offshore: 507
Total Onshore: 342