Do not let unscrupulous shipowners evade responsibility!
In February, the cook of the vessel “Kompozitor Gasanov” (the flag of Russia, the shipowner - “Transfin-M”) applied for help to Seafarers Union of Russia (SUR). He called and said that the refrigeration station on board was out of order, the crew had not been paid for more than three months, and the company was not addressing the problem. To clarify the circumstances of the labor dispute, the Union representatives visited the ship, which was anchored at the Lesnoy port of St. Petersburg. They were shocked at what they saw on board.
The SUR Chief Labor Inspector, Yevgeny Khizhnyak, said that in 54 years of his work in the maritime industry he had seen such a ship for the second time. “The terrible living and working conditions strike the eyes at once: the dirt and rubbish everywhere, the broken dishes in the galley. There were only 6 cups for 17 crew members. In the freezers were sausage and chicken, the shelf life of which expired three weeks ago before our visit. Then we passed to engine room: it was grimy inside, the seafarers wore gas masks when the main engines were running because there had been an escape of exhaust gases. The situation on board the ship was dangerous and unacceptable”.
The last time the crew, which consisted of seafarers from Astrakhan, Dagestan and Nakhodka, were paid more than three months ago. The only one – the Chief Engineer - received 30% for four months of work.
For its part, SUR promised to do everything possible to change the situation on board, but to represent the interests of the crew and to contact on behalf of the seafarers with the shipowner, the Port State Control and other authorities, you need an official statement from at least one crew member. The cook promised to come to the Union in a few days and write a formal request for assistance. But then he never got in touch.
The Seafarers Union of Russia warns that by taking a similar passive position while protecting their rights, workers thereby allow unscrupulous shipowners to exploit themselves under slave-like conditions, bypass laws and still remain unpunished.