On 26 June 2014, that is, on the 4th day of the East Asian WoA, the SUR team visited the fishing port of Nakhodka, and the commercial (private) terminal on the territory of the now closed cement-concrete factory (also in Nakhodka) êå. In the fishing port there were two vessels with Russian seafarers.
1) m/v “IMAN” (flag of Cambodia). It was idle, waiting for the Owner’s order about the next port of loading. Earlier, it arrived from Japan with a cargo of cargo trucks (lorries).
The crew of 15, all Russians from the Russian Far East, all wore brand new protective clothes and footwear. The crew was hired in Vladivostok by Natie Crewing Co.. The Master showed us “General Terms of employment of seafarers by the “Acrox Corporation”. They do not fave an ITF CBA. Crewmembers have Contracts of Employment in accordance with the above General Terms.
Also, the Master showed us the MLC-2006 Certificate. Food on board is provided on the basis of USD6 per day, and the wages of an AB is USD1,000.
Wages are paid in time. We had a meeting (with almost all crewmembers attending) and we were asked and answered a number of questions, like what should be an AB’s wages as per the ITF requirements, what laws pertain to seafarers on board, what is the ITF (!?) and what does the ITF do. After the discussion, the crew very eagerly had an action in support of the WoA. Also, many of the crewmembers decided to join the SUR; besides, they requested the SUR to send a notice to the owner, urging him to enter into negotiations on a CBA. We distributed ITF and SUR magazines. In the end of the visits may crewmembers said that if the vessel stays in the port long enough, they will visit the SUR Far Eastern Organization office and sign applications for membership there.
2) Next to the m/v “ IMANA” there was m/v “ EASTERN” (also flag of Cambodia). First of all, we asked the Master how old was his vessel. He said that it was built in 1970 in Krasnoyarsk wharves, thus, it is over 44 years old (!). The vessel is involved in shipping tyres from Japan. According to the crew, the vessel first brings wheel rims to Japan. Then, they (themselves) mount tyres on those rims, load the wheels (again, they do it themselves), and bring to Nakhodka. The crew is 15, all Russians – NO any CBA, NO contracts of employment.
The crew received ITF and SUR magazines, and was informed about the aims and purposes of the WoA; we told them that their vessel was a model example of how shipowners use FOCs for shamelessly exploiting the seafarers. By the way, the vessel also does not have a MLC-2006 certificate, which is of course very understandable for a 44-year old “antique piece”.
3) m/v “DPL ALYUR”, too, flies the flag of Cambodia which seems to be a very convenient one. Crew of 13, again from the Russian Far East. No CBA. The crew took active participation in a discussion, and we told about FOC problems. We explained problems and dangers of working under a FOC, told them about the WoA purposes, and explained the ITF and the SUR fight against FOCs. The Chief Engineer whose name is Konstantin was especially active, and he joined the SUR there and then. So, we suggested that he becomes a SUR representative on board and collects crewmembers’ applications for membership during the voyage. Also, we informed the crew that we will send a notice to the Owner. Requiring him to enter into negotiations and sign a proper CBA.
Thus, you can see that the rights of Russian seafarers under the Cambodian flag are blatantly violated, as are international norms and demands on labour rights and working and payment conditions. As mentioned above, we will notify the shipowners of those violations and demand to urgently rectify the situation.