"Seafarers do not complain but smilea so it can be noticed even under masks

The isolation regime during the coronovirus epidemic has been going on for two months now. Many businesses have suspended their activities, while others continue to operate remotely, but the cargo transportation has not interrupted for a day as the termination of the shipping industry is fatal for the economy of any country.

So the port of Vladivostok all this time met and saw off the ships, the seafarers were on duty as well as the represantatives of the  SUR primary trade union organization of seafarers in Vladivostok of the Seafarers Union of Russia and the inspection of the ITF in the port of Vladivostok. In May, the Chairman of the local trade union organization and the ITF inspector Petr Osichanskiy visited nine ships. Question 1, which was asked by the seafarers is how to sign off upon the completion of the contract period. Their relatives also contacted the trade union with the same inquiry.

It should be noted that by May in the port the certain scheme for changing the crews has been designed - said Petr Osichanskiy. - So, the seafarers who are residents of Vladivostok, joined the vessels without problems by presenting a certificate from a doctor about passing a virus test, and the signed off seafarers were sent for a two-week home quarantine. For exmple,on May 26, the third mate and a motoriman from the Crimea arrived on bord the m/v Pacific Geneva. They were traveling to Vladivostok from Simferopol via Moscow. Upon arrival they immediately boarded the ship without quarantine as they had certificates from a doctor about passing a test for the virus with a negative result.

The discharging from the vessels is more difficult, especially for nonresident and foreigners. Now it is possible to complete the work on the ship only due to very serious reasons. By the way, the end of the contract during the pandemic period is not considered to be such a reason.

- Usually it should be some kind of long term illness, such as hypertension, or a serious disease that requires hospital treatment, - continued Petr Osichanskiy. Just such a case occurred in the port of Nakhodka. With our assistance a Ukrainian seafarer was discharged from the ship St. Katharien due to health problems. He had to stay in quarantine for two weeks before he repatriated to the city of Sumy. Another example: at the end of February, a Ch. Engineer from the m/v  Golden Zhejiang was repatriated to Romania from the port of Vostochny. This type of shift usually takes time. Just because shortage of time it was not possible to sign off two Ukrainian seafarers as they made the request almost on the day of arrival and indicted only one reason the termination of the contract. Their repatriation has been arranged in the next port of call in Taiwan.

Despite the epidemic, the primary union organization in Vladivostok continues to hold solidarity actions for ship crews. One of them took place on May 27, on board the m/v CH Clarke (IMO 9489223, flag of Korea).

- We told the crewmembers about the International transport workers federation, the policy of protecting crews working on board the ships under the flags of convenience, and the  collective agreements approved by the ITF," added Petr Osichanskiy For example, the level of salary on board the large-capacity  Chinese ships is usually decent. AB receives from 1500 to 2000 USD, the Ch. Officer-up to 6 000 USD, the Captain-7000-8 000 USD. But if the crew is manned with seafarers from Myanmar or Indonesia, their salary is almost a third less. This discrimination on the basis of nationality is what distinguishes working on a ship under a flag of convenience. But the seafarers do  not complain, and smile, which can be seen even under masks.