The crew of m/v «Zorina» want to work under the ITF collective agreement
Recently the Inspectors of the Far Eastern Territorial Organization of the Seafarers' Union of Russia (SUR FETO) visited Panama-flagged m/v «Zorina» berthed at the port of Nakhodka. While checking documents they found out that the ITF collective bargaining agreement signed with the Taiwan Seafarers' Union (NCSU) – the ITF affiliated member organization - was available on board. But when examining more thoroughly it turned out the situation on board was not as good as it seemed at once.
According to Nikolai Sukhanov, the SUR FETO Chairman, the crew consists of 18 seafarers: 18 Chineses and 4 Bangladeshis. The shipowner is the Taiwanese «Zorina Navigation Corp», but the operator and beneficiary owner is «Way-East Shipping Agency Co».
“All seafarers have individual employment contracts, which stipulate that every crew member works in accordance with the ITF collective agreement. When asked to show the agreement the captain gave us the agreement between company «Way-East Shipping Agency Co» and crewing agency «Cross-Ocean International Ship Management». Of course, we explained the seafarers that labor disputes settlement was out of crewing agencies' competence. In case of any dispute arise the crewing agency would not rally to seafarers' defense. Besides, for us it became evident that the AB basiñ pay equal to $819 guaranteed by the original ITF agreement was not paid on board m/v «Zorina». The crew confirmed this at once”, - the leader of SUR FETO told.
Therefore, the ITF agreement is absent on board the vessel: the shipowner disclaimed all the responsibility by signing the agreement with crewing agency. In the view of Nikolai Sukhanov, the shipowner should start negotiations with the ITF affiliated Taiwan Seafarers' Union and to sign the ITF approved collective bargaining agreement.
The crew working on board the flag-of-convenience vessel expressed the wish to have guarantees of decent employment conditions. On the m/v «Zorina» crew's request, the SUR FETO sent a notice on need to negotiate ITF collective agreement signing to the shipowner.