In the first half of 2014 seafarers were paid over 1,000,000 US Dollars of wage arrears.
In the first half of 2014 seafarers were paid over 1,000,000 US Dollars of wage arrears, with the assistance from the Far Eastern Organization of the Seafarers’ Union of Russia. In the same period of2013, this amount was about USD500,000. òûñÿ÷ äîëëàðîâ ÑØÀ. In the first half of 2014, there were two Weeks of Actions (WoA) – in February and in June. All in all, 30 FOC and Russian-flagged vessels were checked, in the ports of Nakhodka and Vostochny.
In the first half of 2014, 15 crews and over 70 individual seafarers turned to the SUR Far Eastern Organization for assistance. Mainly, they had claims for not being paid in time. We had to use different ways for getting the wages paid: for example, we used to turn to the Transport Prosecutor’s office, the Far Eastern Investigation Department of the Russian Federation Investigation Committee, or the City Court.
When in foreign ports, seafarers used collection actions like strikes. Thus, in March 2014 there was a strike on m/v “ Captain Kang” (flag of Cambodia), and in April 2014, there was a strike on m/v “President” (flag of Belize). Due to the crewmembers’ solidarity in action, and to the help and support from the ITF Inspectorate in South Korea and the SUR (including “alarm news” on mass media), the seafarers were able to get over USD200,000 of unpaid wages.
Also, in the first half of 2014 two important international meetings were held in Tokyo and in Manila. Matters of social protection of seafarers in the Asian and Pacific region countries were under discussion. Also, the SUR held meetings of its Council and Executive Board in Moscow and St.Petersburg, where the matters of social protection of Russian seafarers and activities of the SUR were discussed.
Now, there is still quite a big amount of wage arrears as far as Russian-flagged refrigerator ships, “Simfoniya”, “Garmoniya”, “Kometa”, “Progress” and “Yekaterina” are concerned – the total amount is over USD370,000. Their bareboat charterer, the PETA CHEMICAL Co., Ltd. (Vladivostok) keeps promising to pay the crewmembers “in the nearest future”. These vessels are in the ports of South Korea and in Vladivostok. Situation on board is very stressful and tense, and if the money is not paid withinthe first half of this July, the crewmembers are ready to go on strike. The SUR, along with the ITF Inspectorate, monitor the situation.