SCOCEEN: Seafarers' retirement benefits are the hot topic

Recently, the 33rd working meeting of trade unions and shipowners on better working conditions for seafarers was held in Tallinn (Estonia) - the meeting of the Seafarers Committee of Central, Eastern Europe and Norway  (SCOCEEN).

It was traditionally attended by representatives of the Norwegian Shipowners' Association and a number of trade unions from  countries which  supply crews  for ships of  Norwegian owners, that are: Russia, Romania, Croatia, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Ukraine and Norway. The purpose of the event was to find common grounds for trade unions and employers in the struggle for labor rights of more than two thousand seafarers serving on board of Norwegian vessels.

The delegation of the Seafarers' Union of Russia (SUR) was represented by  SUR  Chairman  Yury Sukhorukov,  SUR Vice Chairman Vadim Ivanov, Chairman of the SUR Northern Territorial Organization Alexander Krasnoshtan,  Labor  Inspectors of the SUR Kaliningrad Territorial Organization Lyudmila Izmalkova and Peter Dzendzelyuk.

Colleagues from different countries discussed issues of better working conditions for international crews,  cooperation  between trade union organizations and the Norwegian Shipowners' Association, collective agreements for 2019 and further, as well as the opportunities for  wages increase. 

The hottest topic for the  SCOCEEN were retirement benefits for seafarers. It turned out, that seafarers from many countries, not only Russian crews, who have devoted most of their life to  work on ships under the foreign flags, now receive minimal retirement benefits. In this regard, the participants discussed the possibility of creating pension funds and pension programs for crew members, as well as the need to draft  bills aiming to protect the interests of retired seafarers.