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 ˆ1100.
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.