More than 150 seafarers from Novorossiysk received assistance from the SUR STO during the pandemic
The Southern Territorial Organization of the Seafarers' Union of Russia (SUR STO) has been implementing - for the sixth month - the program to support seafarers who can't go to sea due to travel restrictions imposed around the world. During this time more than 150 members of the SUR Primary Organization of the «NOVOSHIP» have received financial assistance.
“We estimate, that at the moment in the Southern Federal District about 2-3% of the total number of seafarers, or about 450-500 people, are awaiting the possibility to join theiê ships. The same number of crewmembers are trapped on board and can't return home,” - said Nikolai Popov, the SUR STO Chairman. “Today everyone is in a difficult situation today, therefore, during the active phase of the pandemic, we have launched a program to support seafarers who have already been staying on shore for a long time”.
The program turned out to be one of the highest demanded in the history of the Trade Union Committee: some 60 seafarers applied with applications for assistance for the first month alone.
The Union notes: despite the fact that today a number of ports allow crew changes, many companies still face serious difficulties with arrangement of this process. So, the migration authorities in a number of countries refuse entry to foreign seafarers due to the threat of the COVID-19 spread.
“Large shipowners even have to deviate from the course for 300-400 nautical miles to make crew change, for example, at some Russian port,” - Nikolai Popov explained
According to the International of Ship Managers' Association (Intermanager), the total number of crew worldwide affected by the current pandemic is over 700,000