Seafarers have no complaints

The inspectors from the Black and Azov Seas Territorial Organization of the Seafarers' Union of Russia (SUR BATO) have witnessed it when they  visited two ships at the Port of Novorossiysk, particularly    the Azerbaijani-flagged General Aslanov (port of origin Baku) and the  Belize-flagged Hercules. The  General Aslanov is owned by AZERBAIJAN CASPIAN SHIPPING and the  Hercules is owned by TRANSCARGO LLC. 

According to the  General Aslanov's master, there  aren't  any problems on board: the  wages are paid timely,  the catering  for  the  12-man crew, all of them are Azerbaijanis, is organized well. 

 - It's hard to say whether it is true, - Evgeny Bangert, the  labour inspector  at  the  SUR BATO, said, - as we didn't see the  documents confirming this. 

The crew of the bunkering tanker Hercules also hasn't complaints. The  half of  14-man crew  is the  SUR's  members. The seafarers of the  Hercules are  from Novorossiysk. They work  on the  2/2-based contracts in the  Black Sea region. The Hercules has  the  MLC Certificates, but  there is  no a collective agreement.  However, an able seaman's wage  is 1100. 

Remember, since January 18, 2017  the ships, which are subject to the  Maritime Labour  Convention (MLC),  should  have two Certificates   confirming the  financial securities of:

 - the shipowner's responsibilities  on  crew repatriation, the food/accommodation and medical care expenses  and   wage payments   to abandoned  crew but  the these payments  are limited to   four  months in the event  of existing  wage debts (Regulation 2.5, Standard A2.5.2 Paragraph 9);

 - covering a contract-agreed compensations in  the event of death or  long-term disability following  an occupational injuries  or illnesses the list of which  is contained in a collective agreement (Regulation 4.2, Standard A4.2.1 Paragraph 1(b)). 

Seizing the moment, the  inspectors  told  them why the seafarers should be the union's  member, explained their  perspectives  and  clarified  the  difference  between the  seafarers organized in the  union and  the  seafarers who were  taking a chance hoping that everything  would  be okay at sea. 

Seafarers  always should acknowledge  and remember that an union-free seafarer is unprotected. Only  the  union membership gives them right to protect  their  labour  rights  and social guarantees.