This was revealed when visiting a vessel moored in the fishing port of Nakhodka.
An international crew of 23 seafarers works on board the m/v New Fairy (flag of Hong Kong, IMO 9560003), which was under loading of metal ore bound to China. The chairman of the Far Eastern territorial organization (FETO) of the Seafarers Union of Russia, Nikolai Sukhanov, said that crewmembers are provided with contract of employment, but the documents do not specify the insurance amounts in the event of the death of employees.
«In addition, insurance certificates issued in accordance with the requirements of the MLC, do not specify the insurance coverage. The seafarers themselves do not know anything about the specific amounts either. It means that shipowners use the opportunity to save on insurance and wage for seafarers from Bangladesh and Burma. The basic rate of AB is only 614 US dollars, the Master’s -5500 US dollars; bur from January 1, 2021, the minimum base rate of AB was set as 641 US dollar. The ship is not covered by the ITF collective agreement, although in Hong Kong there is a maritime trade union, affiliated member of the ITF, with which the employer could sign an agreement»,- explains N. Sukhanov.
Representatives of the union discussed with the crew such issues as protection measures in the pandemic, and informed about efforts of the ITF and the national maritime unions to resolve the shift crisis. «We also talked about the working conditions on ships under a flag of convenience, and at gave the seafarers books in English, so that they know that even working on board these vessels, they have rights and it is important to ensure their compliance», - added the chairman of the FETO Nikolai Sukhanov.
Upon returning from the port, the Union’s representatives sent a warning letter to the Hong Kong shipowner about the need to conclude an ITF collective agreement for m/v New Fairy and bring the working conditions of the crewmembers to the minimum international standards.