Responsible approach for employment issues

The Best Shipping Ltd company paid wage arrears in the amount of more than 1 million rubles to seven sailors who worked on the board the vessel Best-1 under Russian flag. This was reported by the press office of the Southern Transport Prosecutor's Office.

As it became known the Astrakhan transport prosecutors office conducted an audit on the appeal of crew members about the violation of the right to receive a timely salary. In result it was established that in violation of the requirements of the Labor Code of the Russian Federation Best Shipping Ltd delayed and did not fully transfer money to the seafarer for the actually worked time in May-June 2019.

In connection with the violations of the law revealed by the prosecutors office administrative proceedings were opened against the General Manager as well as the legal entity under Part 6 of Art. 5.27 Administrative Code. Prosecutors citation was delivered to the head of the organization. By a resolution of the State Labor Inspectorate for the Astrakhan Region Best Shipping Ltd and the General Manager were hold to administratively liable in the form of fines in the amount of 30 000 rubles and 10 000 rubles respectively. As a result of the prosecutors response debts to seafarers were fully repaid.

It is worth mention that the Russian company Best Shipping Ltd (Astrakhan) and the Belizean Best Shipping Management have the same owner but the different directors. Crewmembers from the vessels Bertran and Surov contacted the Seafarers Union of Russia in regard with unpaid wage early this month.

Problems on board of Bertran became known in early July when several crewmembers applied to the SUR with complaints of non-payment of wages. According to them from the beginning of the contract they did not receive money: some of them arrived on the ship back in March of this year. The seafarers said that the vessel is located at the Ada Shipyard in Tuzla, Turkey, but no work has been done on board within the past month. The situation was aggravated by the fact that the requirements regarding the technical supply of the vessel by the company were not fulfilled and any requests of seafarers were ignored. Only after the crewmemebrs asked for assistance the wage was paid.

The problems on board the vessel Surov was reported in December 2018  when the ship ran aground off the coast of the Taman Peninsula.  The Best Shipping Management has not paid money to sailors since October 2018.

Due to the fact that both companies regularly involve seafarers in labor disputes the SUR recommends not to employ on their vessels.  According to the Equasis database as of August 23 2019, the Best Shipping Ltd company has one vessel - Best-1 (IMO 8868537 ( flag of the Russian Federation) and Best Shipping Management - six: Sormovskiy-118 ( IMO 7943287 Panama flag), Starocherkassk (IMO 8728062 Togo flag), Surov (IMO 8857980  Mongolia flag), Shaman (IMO 8720216 Panama flag), Ust-Orda (IMO 8866682  flag Mongolia) and Bertran (IMO 8889397 Panama flag).