Seafarer from M/V Vishvamata pays costs on his repatriation and travel expenses of his relief

One  of  the crew members  of M/V Vishvamata (flag of the  Comoros, IMO 9175224) urgently had to back home due  to his mother's hospitalization. But he  got  into  difficulties: the seafarer   had to demand to cover a one-month wage debt  from the  Nigerian shipowner Deep Frontline Shippers LTD. When he came back home the  seafarer  discovered  that from his  wage  for April  the employer deducted the  sum of costs on his own repatriation  and the  travel expenses of his relief. The  medical certificates, which were translated into English and notarized, didn't persuade  the company  that the seafarer had discharged prior  expiring of  his contract  due  to the good reason.

Olga Ananina, the  ITF inspector in Novorossiysk, said that the previous name of  M/V Vishvamata was Riroil 3 owned by  Palmali company. Since the bankruptcy of Palmali's  branch in Russia, the vessel was bought  by Deep Frontline Shippers LTD. The ship changed the  name as well as a flag. At present the  vessel flies  the  Comoros flag. As we know the  Comoros administration didn't ratify the  Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 resulting in deterioration  of  seafarers' working conditions.  Current shipowner, like a previous one, has the arrears in wages. The conditions of crew's contracts have nothing in common with international labour regulations. The  contracts  haven't  provisions on working and rest hours, and payment period. Also the contract includes provision stating that a seafarer should pay repatriation costs at his/her own expenses in case  of illness or death of relative. If  he or  she doesn't  inform a company about  the  illness or  death of relative prior to four weeks, a seafarer has to cover travel costs of his/her relief.

Ukraine  crewing agency UVIS UKRAINE LLC employs the  Russian seafarers for  working  on this slaveholder. Yulia Surovtseva, the managing director  of Nikolayev-based crewing agency, answered  that the  crew member wished to discharge  before the date of  his contract's expiration  and that  she didn't know about his mother's illness and payments  would be made only in accordance  with the  contract, Olga  Ananina reported. We managed to recover his wage  for  March, but  the  repatriation costs unlikely would  be returned. I would like to warn Russian seafarers  against accepting  any offers from UVIS UKRAINE LLC to work on this ship, otherwise you risk  to be in slave conditions, without payments  and opportunity  for  repatriation  in case of emergency.