Japanese shipowner, saving on crew, received a notice
Sunroad Yatsuka, berthed at theCommercial Sea Port ofNakhodkafor coal loading, was checkedby the Far EasternRegional Organization of the Seafarers' Union ofRussia (SUR FERO). Thevessel hasn'ta collectiveagreement andtheAB
base rateis under $614, ILO-recommended
Panama-flagged Sunroad Yatsuka (built 2005, IMO 9317274) is
owned andoperated by Hiroshima-based
Polar Star Line SAandKyowa Sansho KK respectively. 19-person crewconsists of theJapanese masterand18 Filipinos. Thevesselcamefrom Chinafor coal loading. Itsnextport of call is Kochi, Japan.
However,thevessel isunder Panamaflag ofconvenienceand thereisnocollective agreement. The AB baserateis $550 andthisrateis under theminimum wage levelrecommended by the International Labour
Organization. The Japanese shipowner employs theFilipino crews because their wages are
significantlylowerthan Japaneseseafarers have.
The SUR FERO has met with Sunroad Yatsukacrew.
“We explained to seafarers thereasonwhyshipownersfrom the high-tax countriestransfertheir ships underflag ofconvenience (FoC) which is called tax haven.
The reason isthat therearen't taxes, but iftaxes exist their ratesarevery low inopen registry
countries, like Panama.To attract
companies the flags ofconvenience
usemore favourable terms than national flags have. The FoCsexemptshipownersfromtheirown legislation. TheInternational
Transport Workers' Federation declaresthe“war” on flags ofconvenience forthat reason. An owner employsthe cheapest as possible labour on FoC ships. Crews receive the minimum wages and an owner cuts thecost through deterioration ofseafarers'living conditions,”saidNikolai Sukhanov, the SUR FERO's chairman.
MLC, 2006 the ship'smaster (72)
passedto theunion'srepsthe insurance certificates. The sumsof insurancecover weren'tindicated in thecertificatesor individual
contracts. Thecrew didn'tknowthe amountofinsurancecover. The union'sofficials
advisedseafarers thatthissum shouldbe necessarily included
in the ITF agreement. After themeetingwith theSUR FEROinspectors, thecrew hasvoicedthewish to requirefrom theshipowner to sign a collectiveagreementwith theJapan Seamen' Union. TheRussian union senta relevantnotice.
Beforeleavingthe SUR FERO officialspassedtheRussianandJapanesepublicationson ITFand SUR activities to seafarersandinvited themto visit theNakhodka International MarineClub where theycan restfrom their working life.