The absence of seafarers' employment contracts on board is a gross violation of the MLC

During a visit to the vessel Svyataya Varvara ( flag of the Russian Federation, IMO 9143609), representatives of the Far Eastern Regional Organization of the Seafarers Union of Russia (DVRO) found out that the crewmembers - the Russians - work without employment contracts. As it turned out these important documents are available in the company but not on board the vessel which is a gross violation of the MLC and the Labor Code of the Russian Federation.

The chairman Far Eastern Regional Organization of the Seafarers Union of Russia, NikolaiSukhanov, told about the situation on board the vessel:

- The vessel was moored at the pier of the Nakhodka seaport in the area of the shipyard. Its owner and operator is CoalSeaportShakhtersk LLC (Sakhalin Oblast). The port of Shakhtersk implements a unique raid loading program for Russia. Within its framework coal at the anchorage is reloaded into bulkers with deadweight of up to 120 thousand tons. To deliver coal to the anchorage the company uses its own fleet of vessels with a carrying capacity of 650 tons, 1.7 thousand tons and 3.5 thousand tons. The fleets of this company consist of 21 ships, of which eight are auxiliary vessels. Today the company employs more than 600 people.

The crew of the m / v Svyataya Varvara consist of eight Russians. They mainly live on Sakhalin and in the Primorsky Territory. Unfortunately the captain could not show us the seafarerscontracts of employment since they were not on board. We  contacted the CEO of the company by phone in order to clarify the issue in regard of the documents. The management promised to send them by e-mail. Anyway we informed the captain that the absence of contracts was a gross violation of the MLC and the Labor Code of the Russian Federation. Moreover seafarers must remember that before the voyage they have to leave a copy of the employmentcontract to their relatives.The inspectors advised the marine administration of the seaport of Nakhodka about the violation found on board the vessel and informed the captain that after the repair was completed the ship would not be able to leave the port without contracts of employments provided to all crewmembers.

 Earlier the representatives of DVRO had already visited the vessels of Coal SeaPort of Shakhtersk LLC. These were Sergey Kuznetsov (flag of the Russian Federation, IMO 8606276) and Andrey Artemenko (flag of the Russian Federation, IMO 8849593). Then the labor inspectors were also not provided with the seafarers contracts of employment although there was a certificate of compliance with labor standards in maritime shipping on board the vessels.

- It was rather strange that on boards the vessels where the standards of MLC 2007are allegedly fulfilled there might not have been employment contracts for seafarers. When we faced a similar situation on the third ship of the company we applied  forthe shipownerwith request about the violations, said Nikolai Sukhanov. In addition the DVRO invited the management of ShakhterskCoalSeaport LLC to negotiate a collective agreement with the Seafarers Union of Russia to cover the entire fleet of the company - 21 vessels. Before leaving representatives of the DVRO told the seafarers about the trade unions activity, offered to join the Union and also delivered the newspapers and magazines.

- Given that almost all of the company's vessels undergo scheduled repairs in Nakhodka and remain here for two to three months we invited the crewmembers to visit the Interclub out of hours   where free tours of the city and the regionand  trips to the beaches of Nakhodka in the summertime and other events can be organized, - added the leader of the DVRO.