28.01.2015

Week of Actions starts in the ports of the Russian Far East

Today is the first day of the Week of Actions against FOCs/POCs in the Asian-Pacific region (26 to 30 January 2015), and the first vessels checked by the SUT team were the ones in the Fishing port of Nakhodka.

The first vessel visited was the m/v AMGU (flag of Belize, IMO 9113226, DWT 5910 T), and it was under loading a cargo of scrap metal for Pohang, North Gyeongsang province, Republic of Korea. Crew of 15, all from Russia, and they were very glad to see the SUR team; right at the gangplank they started complaining for the problems with their wages. The Master is paid USD2100 plus a bonus of USD900. An AB gets USD700 plus a bonus of USD300. Even these wages are paid irregularly.

Owner: INDERTON LIMITED S.A.

Manager: ACREX CORP., Ltd.  Both the Owner and the Manager share the same address which is No. 20 Verhneportovaya Street, Vladivostok, Russia.

The companys fleet includes three more vessels: m/v ELDUGA, m/v SAMARGA and m/v KEMA, all flying the flag of Cambodia.

In mid-January, 2015, the crew went on strike in the port of Pohang (Republic of Korea) and stopped the loading because of non-payment of wages from October, November and December 2014. Then, the wages were paid, minus the bonuses for November and December.

Right then and there, when the SUR team was on board, a number of crewmembers joined the SUR and said that they will also visit the SUR FEO office and submit a claim for delayed payments of their bonuses to the SUR FEO lawyer so that the claims could be further forwarded to the Prosecutors Office or a court.

The Individual Contracts of Employment are in place. Meals are for USD6 per person per day.

Accommodation conditions are normal, and there were no claims for working conditions or food.

Yet, the protective clothes are old and worn out and the cook did not have any in place so she was cooking in her everyday clothes.

The Declaration of Compliance to the international labor standards as per the MLC 2006 is still not in place. However, there is an Information Letter from the Belize Flag State Authority that these documents are now in the process of preparation.

Anyway, it is not acceptable to have the seafarers rights violated. There is no ITF CBA.

We had a meeting in the vessels mess room by the way, most crewmembers are SUR members. We distributed SUR information booklets, our Trade Union Maritime Herald magazine published by the SUR and SUR calendars.

We will also request the Korean colleagues that the vessel should be re-inspected and request them to assist the crew in recovering their money.

Also, we will of course contact the Company and strongly urge them to sign a proper ITF-acceptable CBA; also, we will insist on rectifying all defects found by our inspection.

In the end, we had a joint picket at the ships stern under the flag of Belize.

The second vessel visited was the m/v Port May (flag of Russia, IMO 8912807, port of registry Vostochny).

At that time, the crew from the Primorsky region was being replaced with a crew from Sakhalin.

Owner: SOVFRACHT Ltd.

Crew of14, all Russian citizens.

At the moment, the vessel was idle in connection with its transfer to a Sakhalin-based company.

An ABs basic pay is 12,000 Russian Rubles, and the total wage is about 30,000 Rubles; while the Master gets around 1000,000 Rubles (with basic wage of 18,300 Rubles.

The Individual Contracts of Employment are in place, and the fact of employment and placement is duly registered in each seafarers Seamns Book. Also, the Company pays all required taxes to the Social and Medical Insurance Foundation.

We held a meeting in the mess room and discussed the activities of the ITF and the SUR. Also, we explained that an AB should be paid at least USD585. We also explained that the Government of Russia has approved the form of a seafarers Contract of Employment which is the only permitted form of such a contract for all Russian Employers; we shall also inform the new Owners accordingly.

There is no CBA covering the vessel.

The Master showed us The Declaration of Compliance to the international labor standards as per the MLC 2006 they do have it on board though the compliance, as such, is not in existence by the main parameters.

Meals are for USD6 per person per day.

There were no claims for working conditions of for delayed wages.

The crewmembers promised to stay in touch with the SUR FEO since the vessel is supposed to effect regular voyages from Nakhodka to Japan and the Republic of Korea. 

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