At last, on the third day of the WoA, the weather became frosty but sunny. On this day, the SUR team planned to visit three vessels in the Commercial port of Nakhodka, at Astafyev cape (this is about 15 km from the SUR Far Eastern Organization office).
1) The first vessel was the m/v “ROYAL FAIRNESS” (flag of Panama, IMO 9478793, DWT 55,654 T, a bulk carrier).
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2) The second vessel visited was the m/v “ACHILLEUS” (flag of Malta, IMO 9228021, DWT 50992 T).
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3) The third vessel visited was the m/v “Ocean Jewel” (flag of Panama, IMO 9610640, DWT 37137 T).
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Since the local mass media informed about the Week of Actions against FOCs/POCs in the Asian-Pacific region, a number of seafarers who signed off earlier and did not get their wages started turning to the office of the SUR Far Eastern Organization where they are received by a SUR FEO lawyer, Mr.Vassiliy Savelyev. According to Mr.Savelyev’s information, among the complainants there were crewmembers from m/v “IVAN POLZUNOV” (RUS) who claim non-payment of the total amount of over 4,000,000 Russian Rubles; seafarers who used to work for MV-LINE Co. (Vladivostok) – also for non-payment of wages.
Their claims were then forwarded to the Transport Prosecutor’s Office and the Investigation Committee for Transport.
Unfortunately we could not visit the m/v “IVAN POLZUNOV” as it is currently under arrest. Today we were informed that the vessel will be auctioned and the money will be paid to the correspondent seafarers.
As far as the MV-LINE Co. is concerned, it paid part of the backwages to the seafarers after the claims were submitted to the Prosecutor’s Office but said that the rest of the money will be paid only if and when the seafarers withdraw their claims. The seafarers called our office again and explained the situation so our lawyer strongly advised them that in no case they should withdraw their claims.
Also, we have checked the Contracts of Employment which seafarers have to sign with the MV-LINE Co. For example, today a Mr.Ciktor Sarafanov, a SUR member, who is an Electric Engineer, explained us how he was employed for work on m/v “GORNOZAVODSK” (flag of Russia), and signed a Contract of Employment with a Cyprian shipowner. The wages indicated therein were in US Dollars (which is not allowed for Russian flag vessels) but anyway the wages were not paid after the man’s signing off. We took a decision to check all MV-LINE vessels from Vladivostok, and to inform Port Masters about serious breaches when these vessels enter Russian ports.
The MV-LINE fleet also includes the m/v “SMILE” (flag of Cambodia, IMO 8408698), which trades for the ports of Japan. We would like to draw the attention of the Japanese ITF Inspectors and the JSU to this vessel and stress the necessity to inspect it when noticed.