25.02.2019

Glorious Future crew says no to the yellow union

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. 

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