Seafarers with expired contracts were signed off from the ship
The Seafarers Union of Russia and the International Transport Workers' Federation in Russia helped Filipino crewmembers from the refrigerator Cool Spirit. It is noteworthy that the crewmembers themselves did not dare to ask for assistance. The violation of the terms of the contracts of employment was revealed during a routine inspection of the vessel in the port of St. Petersburg. In result of inspection it became known that most of the crew has been on board for about a year. However, the company refused to repatriate them due to restrictions due to coronavirus. As a result of negotiations with the employer the SUR and the ITF managed to secure the repatriation of the Filipinos, but since the ship was about to leave the port it was not possible to sign them off in St. Petersburg. Then, after coordination with the seafarers, the shipping company drew up a letter of guarantee according to which the crewmembers should be repatriated in the next port of call. After 17 days, during the transit of the Panama Canal, 10 seafarers were signed off from Cool Spirit and safely repatriated. As the Filipino seafarers dreamed, they will celebrate the Catholic Christmas with their families. It remains to add that Cool Spirit is covered by the Collective agreement, what, of course, played a major role in the prompt resolution of the problem. The SUR and the ITF continue to help the seafarers with expired contracts to be discharged from vessels during the period of restrictions on movement due to the spread of coronavirus.