Greek shipowner undertakes to conclude a collective agreement with PNO

The SUR FERO inspectors continue  to visit the  ships calling at the  Port of Nakhodka. The result of their inspection has shown that the 2012-built  Liberian-flagged IOLI (IMO 9601340) has hadn't an ITF's collective agreement.   

So, the  shipowner and operator, which are Greek IOLI LTD and LARUS SA respectively, have little obligations to the  crew, Nikolai Sukhanov, the chairman at the Far Eastern Regional Organization of  the  Seafarers' Union of  Russia (SUR FERO), clarified. We explained the seafarers that the  flag of convenience allows a shipowner  to hire a cheap labour and pay low registration fees and low tax rates. It is attractive  for  shipowners. Currently, more than half of  the global fleet  use the  services of such loyal registries. Unfortunately,  seafarers' welfare on the ships flying a flag of  convenience, their working conditions and guarantees are almost unprotected and only a collective agreement can resolve the  situation.

The union's chairman  said  the IOLI's crew includes 24 seafarers. Among them are: one Romanian, one Ethiopian and others are Filipinos. An able  seaman is paid $1092 and a master's wage is $8700 here.  

After talking the crew, we decided to send a notice to the  shipowner requiring to conclude a collective agreement  immediately, N. Sukhanov said. The notice warned if the  company didn't   respond to the unions' calls, the  ship would be subject of  the  ITF's actions in all ports around the world with the  crew members' backing. In a few hours  we received  an   answer according to which  the  shipowner has already launched negotiations with the  Panhellenic Seamen's Federation (PNO). Fusao Ohori, the ITF coordinator  in Japan, takes the  situation under his  control  and keeps in touch with the ITF's coordinator in Greece.  In addition we advised seafarers to join the  Seamen's Union of the Philippines (AMOSUP), which can protect their  rights  in a difficult  situation.