Greek shipowner has not renewed Collective Agreement
The situation on board the M/V “Blue Balance” (the flag of Panama, IMO 9168491, 1998-built) is typical for flag-of-convenience vessels: the low wages - basic pay for AB is just $627; there is an ITF approved Collective Agreement on board, but it has expired. Besides, the Greek shipowner - Rev Maritime LTD – employed 21 Filipino seafarers who are ready to work for wages well below the average size. The Inspectors of the Far Eastern Territorial Organization of the Seafarers’ Union of Russia (SUR FETO) visited the ship that was loading coal at port of Nakhodka. They told the crew about the risks of work under a flag of convenience and sent the shipowner the notice requiring to conclude an ITF approved Collective Agreement.
“We always explain seafarers why shipowners from developed countries register their vessels under flags of convenience: by this they save on wages, improve the competitiveness of their fleet and profitability of ship operations,” said Nikolai Sukhanov, the Chairman of SUR FETO. “All this is good for the shipowner, but not for the crew members: if there is no ITF collective agreement on board, the provisions of the employment contract may be diminished. Employers often deceive seafarers in terms of wages and employ them under conditions that contradict both labor contracts and international conventions signed by the flag state.
Sî, it is not surprising that after the Inspectors informed the seafarers that the ITF collective agreement had expired the crew asked them to intervene and send a notice to the shipowner demanding negotiations with the Greek trade union and signing the ITF collective agreement. If Rev Maritime LTD does not agree, the vessel may be detained in the ports of countries with a strong trade union movement.