19.03.2021

Latest issue of the Maritime Union Gerald-unsolved problems of the Federation of the Unions and the crew change in Russia

The focus of this year's first issue of the Maritime Union Gerald is on a wide range of topics: from the entry into force of important amendments to the Maritime Labour Convention to the outcome of the VIII Congress of the Federation of Maritime Transport Workers ' Trade Unions.  As well was highlighted the long-term problems of the Arkhangelsk dockers, who faced pressure from the employer on the trade union, discrimination and the use of cheap borrowed labor in the port. In the light of the pandemic, it was impossible not to recall the current crisis in the maritime industry: how different things are with the rotation of seafarers in Russia, you can learn from the material Changing crews in Russian ports-permanent instability. On the first pages of the issue is posted the article In captivity with a salary: what the new amendments to the MLC guarantee. It details changes to the Seafarers Bill of Rights, which guarantee crewmembers payments from their employer during their time in pirate captivity, as well as repatriation at their expense, no matter how much time has passed since the capture. Details about the last VIII Congress of the Federation of Maritime Transport Workers ' Trade Unions, held on December 23, can be found in the article Some issues could not be resolved, but work continues. During the meeting, which was held in connection with the pandemic via video link, representatives of the Federation discussed current problems of trade unions. In particular, despite all efforts, the requirements of the MLC on medical care for seafarers on board and on shore have not yet been reflected in Russian legislation. It was also not possible to solve a number of other issues raised at the last Congress e.g. to achieve a legislative ban on the use of borrowed labor for dock engineers, to improve the regulation of pilot service and to increase the social protection of workers in this industry. The members of the federation are not going to give up and continue to look for ways to solve these problems. The International Federation of Transport Workers continued its work in the pandemic, and although its results were slightly inferior to last year's due to difficulties with access to ships due to existing restrictions, ITF representatives in Russia managed to inspect 419 vessels and achieve payments to seafarers of $1 million 676 thousand, which in the current conditions can be considered a brilliant result. The crisis of crew changes became almost the central problem for the representatives of the Federation as they regularly had to solve the problems with discharging of the seafarers. Read more about this in the article The focus of assistance has shifted to the field of logistics. In the article Deprive of official employment and pay less, the chairman of the primary trade union organization of JSC Arkhangelsk Commercial Sea Port of the Dockers Union of Russia, Dmitry Karansky, spoke about the attacks on the rights of employees and discrimination against representatives of the DUR by the employer, which have been going on for several years. The management of the enterprise with the help of various tricks tried to get rid of him more than once. Other members of the DUR have also faced the same situation, which, among other things, is forcing them to write applications for leaving the union, which is why its number is sharply reduced.  Also you can read article about the abolition from this year of a number of prohibited professions for women, which gave them the right to work on deck in such positions as boatswain, skipper, skippers mate and sailor. You can read about the dynasty of seafarers in the article Fathers and Children of the fleet. Trials and tribulations of the Russian captain, who was stuck on the ship owned by the troubled Palmali company for many months, are described in the text This is just a difficult stage in my life. To plunge into the atmosphere of Swedish Stockholm, despite the existing problems with going ashore, you can use the material The Land of parks and museums on the Baltic Sea, dedicated to the sights of the city.

The electronic version of the  Maritime Union Gerald is available here:

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