The 2nd Mate from the tanker Marlin Shikoku addressed the Southern Territorial Organization of the Seafarers Union of Russia. A member of the STO SUR said that he remained on board for the sixth month, and asked for assistance in repatriation. At that time, the ship was just approaching Novorossiysk, and the seafarer, as a local resident, rightly hoped for a discharging in his hometown.
The company operator, Columbia, was ready to satisfy the demand of the 2nd mate whose contract of employment was expired, so the reliever was manned in Novorossiysk. However, the Cyprus office of CSM held to a firm plan to repatriate several crewmembers, including a Russian, not in Novorossiysk, but in the Bosporus after loading. The 2nd mate, in turn, was afraid of the disruption of the shift in the Bosporus and the forced extension of the contract for an unknown time. «The tanker will go to Asia, there will be calls to South Korea and Singapore, where shifts are basically impossible now. It turns out that my contract will last for a longer period, and I have been on board since the beginning of the year», - seafarer explained. Nikolay Popov, the chairman of the STO SUR, and Vadim Ivanov, the head of the international department of the SUR, were engaged in searching for a way out of the situation. At the local level, they received confirmation from the CSM branch that they were ready to change the 2nd mate, and the Cypriot leadership was once again informed about it. As well the work was carried out at the international level. In response to the appeal of the SUR and the persistent reminders of the Novorossiysk colleagues, representatives of the CSM Cyprus began to work out options for discharging the seafarer in their hometown. And within just a couple of days, a solution was found. «I want to express my great gratitude to the trade union for the assistance provided, for the efficiency and professionalism. This is my second appeal, and again they help me solve the problem in a short time», - the seafarer wrote to the SUR. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the trade union has been constantly assisting in the repatriation of seafarers who, due to quarantine restrictions, are forced to work beyond the normal duration of contracts. «In some cases, the refusals to organize a shift are really connected with the unwillingness of companies to incur additional costs. However, for reliable employers, the extension of contracts is rather a forced measure associated with very strict quarantine restrictions in most countries of the world. They have to divert tankers from the specified routes, bring ships to Russian ports-Vladivostok, Kaliningrad, Novorossiysk, to make a shift,» -comments N. Popov, chairman of the STO SUR. According to the member of the SUR, Ch. Engineer Viktor Forogo, who faced a similar situation last year, only the joint efforts of the governments of all countries can solve the current crisis in a global sense. «After 10 months, I was repatriated, largely thanks to the assistance of the trade union, because before the intervention of the SUR, the company did not even want to talk about repatriation. But for some reason, no one in the governments thinks that a tanker or a gas carrier may eventually explode, because people are simply exhausted by months of work. In the conditions of a pandemic, the crews of ships were the first to take the blow, but very little attention is paid to this issue at the state levels. I would like the governments to take care not only how to the return of tourists from abroad, but also finally pay attention to the crewmembers during the pandemic»,- says the seafarer.