Seafarers asked for ITF collective agreement signing
The Far Eastern Regional Organization of the Seafarers Union of Russia (SUR) sent the notice to the Evalend Shipping Co claiming for signing the ITF collective agreement with the Greek Seafarers Union. This was requested by the crew of the vessel “Penelope L” (flag of Liberia, IMO 9714343).
The vessel was moored at the sea port of Nakhodka for loading for Taiwan. Filipino seafarers working on the ship cordially welcomed the inspectors of the DVRO.
«In general, everything is okay on board, except for one thing», - said Nikolai Sukhanov, chairman of the DVRO. - Seafarers are provided with individual contracts, the wage is paid in time, Insurance certificate of financial responsibility of the shipowner in accordance with the requirements of the MLC is also available, but there is no ITF collective agreement on board. And we were concerned about another thing - according to the captain, the Greek company prohibits the reporting of seafarers ’wages to ITF representatives and its affiliates unions.
As practice shows, when companies hide something, it means that the rights of seafarers are violated on board. However crew members told us that, for example, an AB is paid about one thousand dollars including overtime so that is acceptable in principle.
Inspectors of the DVRO explained to the seafarers that the flag of Liberia is the flag of convenience. The system of such flags allows shipowners to hire cheap labor, receive tax breaks or not pay taxes at all, reduce costs primarily by lowering living standards and worsening working conditions for seafarers.
For more than 50 years, the ITF has been actively working to improve the working and living conditions of seafarers on board the vessels under the flag of convenience: the goal of the federation and its affiliates, including the SUR, is to ensure that such vessels operate under an ITF collective agreement. ITF Agreement on board makes the working conditions of seafarers transparent, guarantees protection and support of the ITF around the world, establishes a decent level of payment of the wage according with international standards and insurance coverage in case of disability or death. The SUR has repeatedly pointed out that the ITF collective agreement improves the provisions of the MLC in the terms of wages, life insurance and the duration of the contract.
Nevertheless, despite the existing problems, the crew will surely remember the visit to Nakhodka for many years: employees of the local International Seafarers Club will arrange for them a tour of the city and surrounding areas of the Ussuri taiga.