02.07.2021

Discrimination and social dumping are classic signs of the flag of convenience system

The Far Eastern territorial organization of the Seafarers Union of Russia found gross violations of the working conditions of the crewmembers on the ship under a convenient flag. We are talking about the m/v Sentosa (flag of Panama, IMO 9537056), which called Nakhodka for loading iron ore bound for China.

The crew consists of 21 seafarers- 4 Koreans, 7 Chinese,4 Burmese and 5 Indonesians. The base rate of the Indonesian AB is $445, the Burmese $520, the Chinese $595. As you can see, holding the same position, crewmembers of different nationalities earn differently. Discrimination and social dumping are classic signs of the flag of convenience system. It is clear that the vessel is not covered by the ITF collective agreement, - said Nikolay Sukhanov, chairman of the FETO SUR. Otherwise, the seafarers would not only receive fair remuneration for their work, but also have decent insurance in case of injury or death. At the moment, the crewmembers of Sentosa, unfortunately, do not even know how much they are insured. All documents on board are in line with the Maritime Labor Convention. As Nikolay Sukhanov noted, the actual shipowner and at the same time the operator Glory Ship Management PTELTD from Singapore, who pays wages to the crew, signed the Declaration part II of the MLC, according to which the seafarers have guarantees from the insurer to be paid for four months and repatriated if the employer is unable to do this. While talking with the international crew, we tried to explain why the owner purposefully raised a convenient flag on his ship. This makes it possible to grossly violate the rights of seafarers. Using a cheap flag, the Glory Ship Management PTE LTD established a payment on a national basis, believing that an Indonesian can be paid less than a Chinese employee. In our opinion, this is unacceptable, and this is what the ITF is fighting against. In addition, the Singapore shipowner does not comply with the recommendations of the International Labor Organization for the minimum base rate of an AB. Since January 2021, it is $641, but the seafarers from Sentosa have much less,- N. Sukhanov continued. The Chairman of the FETO SUR is convinced that cheap registers do not ensure compliance with minimum social norms. And in order to improve the situation of seafarers, there must be a collective agreement on a ship under a convenient flag. It transparently and easily spelled out the rights and obligations of the parties, as well as any discrimination against seafarers is stopped at the root. The crewmembers, realizing that their rights were being grossly violated, held a protest action against the flag of convenience system on board of Sentosa and asked representatives of the Seafarers Union of Russia to send a notice of warning to the Glory Ship Management PTE LTD demanding to sign the ITF collective agreement. It remains to add that in their spare time, the FETO SUR invited the crew to the International Seafarers Club. The technical labor inspectors answered the questions of the seafarers regarding the safety measures taken in Nakhodka for the period of the pandemic.


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