The crew of the m/v Vasily Shukshin thanks the union

This story is another example of how problems are solved when they arise on board the vessel covered by the collective agreement.

On February 14, 2020, the primary trade union organization of the SUR in Vladivostok received an appeal from the crew of the vessel Vasily Shukshin (IMO 9057288, Belize flag) where nine out of ten crewmembers demanded payment of arrears for December 2019 and January 2020.

"Upon arrival of the vessel at the port of Olga the trade union committee sent a letter to the Harbour Master with a request to arrange an inspection on board in regard with violations of  the Labor Code of the Russian Federation and the requirements of the Maritime Labor Convention. Also a statement of wage arrears in the amount of $ 55 110 was attached",- said Petr Osichanskiy

PSC inspectors checked the information received and indeed revealed a number of violations. It appeared, for example, that collective agreement which was mentioned in the contracts of employment was drawn up in English, although the all crew consist of Russian citizens and the working language established by the company is Russian.

"As a result the vessels operator immediately eliminated this discrepancy and submitted on board the m/v Vasily Shukshin a new collective agreement drawn up in Russian and English", added Petr Osichanskiy.

As for wages, the shipowner, ASPOL-Baltic, paid off the debt for two months, paying the crew more than $55 thousand and provided confirmation of payment. The Harbour Master of the port Olga confirmed the fulfillment by the employer of all obligations to crewmembers. On February 24, the ship left the port Olga. The crew, having fully received their earnings in two months, sent a letter to the chairman of the primary trade union organization of the seafarers in Vladivostok. "Dear Petr Ivanovich, the crew of the vessel Vasily Shukshin thanks you for the prompt assistance and support provided to our crew in ensuring the due salary".