Around one year ago the reps of the SUR FERO assisted the seafarers from Panamanian-flagged Glorious Future (IMO 9370977) to settle a labour dispute concerning the wage arrears. They found out that the Hayama Shipping Ltd., acting as a shipowner, hasn't yet signed the ITF bargaining agreement, but the Filipino crew members have gained the support of the independent union.
M/V Glorious Future fell under the spotlight of the union in November 2017, told Nikolai Sukhanov, the chairman at the Far Eastern Regional Organization of the Seafarers' Union of Russia (SUR FERO). Looking through the ship's documents, the first thing the inspectors have noticed was that all crew members were members of the International Seamen Mutual Labour Association (ISLA). The ISLA wasn't affiliated with the International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF), although the employer concluded the agreement with it. The SUR representatives warned the crew, if a labour conflict rose, they would have to settle it by their own efforts. Experience shows that the unions, which aren't affiliated with the ITF, usually turn out as yellow or pocket unions.
The SUR FERO inspectors were absolutely right because problems came soon. The union received a letter from the seafarers of Glorious Future claiming to assist them in recovering their wages in May 2018. At the time they were at the Port of Posyet in Russia. After the union's appeal, the Port State Control inspectors detained the vessel and the ship could left the Port of Posyet when the employer paid debt to the crew.
The labour dispute was a good experience for crew members. Receiving money, they withdrew from the ISLA and joined the Filipino seafarers' union AMOSUP which is affiliated with ITF.
Meanwhile, the working conditions on the Glorious Future board are far from perfect as there is still the ISLA agreement. According to it, the base rate for the AB is $515 and for the captain is $2,700. “These salaries don't reach to the minimum international standards,” N. Sukhanov pointed out. “Now the seafarers are protected by the AMOSUP and the ITF, so the federation's coordinator in Japan Fusao Ohori has a task to achieve a signing the agreement with Hayama Shipping Ltd. which is ensure good salaries and the rights protection. The SUR FERO sent a notice to shipowner requiring to launch the collective bargaining.”