Crew of M/V SUNROAD YATSUKA again voiced the wish to work under ITF collective agreement
The Panama-flagged Sunroad Yatsuka (IMO 9317274) is just one of eight large vessels owned by Japanese Kyowa Sansho KK, which isn't covered by a collective agreement of the International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF). Its crew expressed the wish to work under the ITF's agreement as other seafarers employed by the Japanese shipowner.
The Far Eastern Regional Organization of the Seafarers' Union of Russia (SUR FERO) addressed a notice to Kyowa Sansho KK, requiring to conduct negotiations on the agreement signing. Today the SUR FERO's reps have visited the ship at the Port of Nakhodka. There were 18 Filipinos and Japanese captain. According to the documents, a base rate for an AB was $550, however the ILO-recommended minimum rate was $614.
- We visited the ship second time, - Nikolai Sukhanov, the chairman at the SUR FERO, said. - For the first time we visited the Sunroad Yatsuka late last year. Then based on results of our meeting with the seafarers, we addressed our first notice to the shipping company offering to start negotiations. But the Kyowa Sansho KK's managers didn't respond. It's strange, but all company's fleet, expect the one, works under collective agreement. As a result the decent employment is guaranteed for crews of other vessels, but the seafarers of Sunroad Yatsuka aren't.
The Sunroad Yatsuka's crew went at the ship's stern to hold the action against flags of convenience (FoC) and, first of all, against the violation of their rights. “We explained them that for shipowners in high-taxed countries to change a flag into convenience is like a tax heaven. As we know such countries with open registry, as Panama, haven't any taxes or if they have, the existing taxes are very low. Also the ships registered under FoCs can hire the cheapest, as possible, labour force, and pay crew the minimum wage rates and cut the costs through deteriorating of their living conditions. The flags of convenience attract the shipowners by this. The ITF and the seafarers' unions pay special attention to the working and living conditions on such vessels,” Nikolai Sukhanov explained.
The SUR's Far Eastern Regional Organization again sent the notice to Kyowa Sansho KK offering to come into negotiations and conclude the ITF's agreement with the All Japan Seamen's Union.