29.04.2019

M/v Dana-1: the crew were paid following the strike

M/v Dana-1 (flag of Moldova, IMO  7310973, 1973-built) delivered timber from Russia to Italy and was detained by port authorities in Salerno on 29, March.  During inspection all crew members signed the statement on unpaid wages, went on  strike and blocked all further commercial operations.

Besides, the port authorities found some significant breaches of international rules of safety navigation, including technical deficiencies and lack of food supply. 

The shipowner rectified main deficiencies and paid wages to seafarers on the 18th of April, and only after that the ship continued the voyage and departed to Turkey. 

According to the  Equasis, the vessel is operated by Frim of St Petersburg. The classification society the Shipping Register of Ukraine, the insurer -  insurance company VSK. Last time this vessel  was detained in December, 2018, in Bulgaria, at that time it was held for 11 days in Burgas. 

This vessel is a kind of legend. According to Olga Ananina, the Inspector of the International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) in Novorossiysk, since 2009  ITF Inspectors regularly has addressed  the problems of the vessel's crews for  several times a year.

So, for example, the crew of Dana-1 many times turned to  ITF Inspection Kaliningrad:  in July 2011, when three crew members received $8600 only after the complaint, and in November of the same year, when other three  seafarers  received $6500 under similar circumstances. In 2013, another seafarer was left without wages and turned to the Inspectors: the ship's captain was signed off from the vessel at a Mediterranean port, the company was owed him  about $6000 of wages. 

In the same year, at port of Temryuk, during a Week of Action against Flags of Convenience, trade  union inspectors revealed unpaid wages on board  the ship, notably,  the wages of ratings  were as low as  $800 per month. In general, it turned out that the shipowner considered it normal to pay wages to  crew only at the end of the voyage: so for many months the crew members remained virtually without means of livelihood.

Every time when the employer paid wages to crews after the interference of ITF, the company  accused the crew of alcohol use, excessive food consumption and low marine culture, however without any  documentary evidence. 

In addition, the Seafarers' Union  of Russia (SUR) received reports which alleged that there was a  double-entry bookkeeping on board the vessel: the captain forced  the crew to sign forged pay-rolls with  proper rates to show them to ITF Inspectors. 

Apparently, nothing has changed for the better over the past ten years: the conditions on the ship are as deplorable as they ever were, - Olga Ananina  notes.

The Seafarers' Union  of Russia (SUR)  recommends  crew members do not seek employment on Dana-1: besides that the ship is old, has a lot of deficiencies and it is not safe to work on board, there is a good likelihood to be left without wages. Not to  fall a victim of unscrupulous shipowners,  SUR advises all seafarers, before joining a vessel,  to turn to a trade union and make inquiries  about the employer and his previous "merits".

Source: seafarersjournal.com 

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