30.01.2015

WoA (Russia): day 5 and preliminary evaluation of the results

On the fifth (and last) day of the Week of Actions (26 to 30 January 2015), the SUR inspection team re-visited the port of Vostochny, in order to check two big FOC vessels.

1)   m/v MARITIME LIJIANG (flag of Panama, IMO 9362205, DWT 76302 T, built 2006).

Owner:  SAN CLEMENTE/TOKYO SANGYO (Japan),

Manager: FLEET SHIP MANAGEMENT PTE LTD (Singapore)

Crew of 22, all from China.

An AB gets USD1,100 and the Master receives USD7,300.

There is a CBA signed between the Manager and Hong Kong union.

Also, the Master showed a Declaration of Compliance to the international labor standards as per the MLC 2006.

Meals are for USD7.5 per person per day.

There were no claims for the payment of wages. The working conditions are good; all crewmembers are provided normal protective clothes.

The crewmembers asked us some questions about the Nakhodka Seamens Club, and how to get there. Also, they had questions about the work of the ITF Inspectorate and the reasons and goals of the ITF Campaign against the Flags of Convenience. We distributed ITF magazines in Chinese and SUR calendars. In the end, the crewmembers took part in a picket.

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2)   m/v ORIENTAL PHOENIX (flag of Cyprus, IMO 9194440, DWT 14181 T, built 1999).

Owner: DSM SHIPPING 2 CO LTD (Japan).

Manager: DAIICHI CHUO MARINE CO LTD (Japan).

Crew of 17 Vietnamese seafarers and 2 Korean (the Master and the Chief Engineer).

The basic wage of an AB is USD585. The Master gets USD6,231.

Meals are for USD8 per person per day.

The vessel is being loaded with a cargo of coal for Susaki (Kochi prefecture, Japan). ETA to Susaki is 06 February 2015.

The crew is covered with a CBA between the KOREA SHIP MANAGERS ASSOCIATION and a KOREAN SPECIAL SEAFARERS UNION (KSSU-KOSMA CBA). We do not think that this union is affiliated to the ITF (and I did not manage to find this union in the Internet Pavel), and anyway, the CBA shall be signed with the JSU. According to the ITF data, the vessel is not covered with an ITF CBA, and we informed the Master and the Chief Engineer accordingly.

We held a discussion with the crew and explained how and why an ITF CBAs are negotiated and signed, and explained the ITF policy against the FOCs. Then, the crewmembers took part in a picket.

The shipowner shall be sent a notice on the necessity to sign a proper ITF CBA.

* * *

Summing up the (preliminary) results of this Week of Actions, we have to note that out of 12 vessels inspected in the ports of Nakhodka and Vostochny, 7 vessels meet all relevant international standards and requirements; of those seven, 5 vessels fly the flag of Panama (m/v SUN ROAD MITOYA, m/v ROYAL FAIRNESS, m/v OCEAN JEWEL, m/v FOUR KITAKAMI, and m/v MARITIME LIGIANG), 1 vessel works under the flag of Malta (m/v ACHILLEUS),  1 the flag of Honduras (m/v J?HARMONY) .

All of them are covered with ITF CBAs and have Declarations of Compliance to the international labor standards as per the MLC 2006.

The m/v PATTANA (flag of Belize), the m/v  ɔ (flag of Russia), the m/v GO STAR (flag of Malta), the m/v ORIENTAL PHOENIX (flag of Cyprus) had Declarations of Compliance to the international labor standards as per the MLC 2006 but did not have ITF CBAs.

Only one vessel, the m/v AMGU (flag of Belize, Russian crewmembers) lacked both documents (Declaration of Compliance to the international labor standards as per the MLC 2006 and ITF CBA).  The Masters wages there are only USD2,100 and an AB gets the amount of USD700. Moreover, even these pathetic, by modern ITF standards, wages are paid irregularly. The crewmembers claimed that they were paid only after industrial actions (strikes). This is absolutely unacceptable. So as we have informed earlier, we wrote an official letter to the Port Master of Nakhodka about the necessity of an additional inspection of the vessel and of having all detected flaws rectified even up to detention of the vessel until all flaws are corrected. Also, we informed the ITF Inspectorate in the Republic of Korea that this vessel should be put under special control, and requested them to undertake an additional inspection of the vessel, together with the Port State Control inspectors, and have all defects rectified.

On the other hand, we are glad to point out that it was only the m/v AMGU where crewmembers had claims for delayed payments of the wages and poor working conditions. On all other vessels the working conditions were normal.

All seafarers ashore who addressed the SUR Far Eastern Organization office during the WoA submitted written clams to our Union lawyer. According to the lawyer, Mr.V.Savelyev, all the claims are duly registered an logged, and the SUR FAO is working on them in coordination with the relevant law enforcement bodies.

We would also want to notice that the seafarers show more interest to the policy and activities of the ITF and the work of the ITF Inspectorate, and they keep asking how they can contact the ITF Inspectors when necessary.

The crew of the m/v IVAN POLZUNOV (flag of Russia) which was arrested in Nakhodka by court order for non-payment of wages during the Week of Actions visited the SUR FAO office twice and kept asking about the proceedings on their case. We informed them that according to the court, the vessel will be auctioned and the backwages for them will be recovered.

Seafarers on all vessels visited during the WoA received fresh press including ITF and SUR publications as well as got answers to the questions which were worrying them.

We would like to thank all seafarers who were actively cooperating with us during the Week of Actions.

The final results of the WoA and the total amount of the recovered wages will be made clear after we get information from our colleagues in Japan, Korea and Taiwan where vessels with Russian crewmembers were inspected.

We remind that in 2014, three Weeks of Actions were held; among the results was recovering of over USD1,700,000 of backwages for seafarers.

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