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.”