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SEAFARERS' UNION OF RUSSIA (AFFILIATED WITH ITF)
A NON-UNIONIZED SEAFARER
IS AN UNPROTECTED SEAFARER
Inspectors of the Far Eastern Territorial Organization of the Seafarers Union of Russia visited the ship Vasiliiy Shukhin (flag of Belize, IMO 9057288) in Nakhodka seaport. They were met on board by the Russian crew consist of 10 people manned from all regions of the country, from Kaliningrad to Nakhodka. According to Nikolai Sukhanov, Chairman of the FETO SUR, Aspol-Baltic Corp Ltd. from St. Petersburg is the operator of the vessel and the actual employer of the seafarers. The company pays wages to the crew and bears financial responsibility, including insurance. The vessel is not covered by the ITF collective agreement.
«To be more precise, there was an agreement, but it had nothing to do with the ITF, and the trade union that signed it with the Maltese company NWS 5 Baltic Shipping Co Ltd. is not a member organization of the federation. In addition, on October 1, 2021, the agreement expired, so for 4.5 months the Russian crew working on a vessel under a flag of convenience without job guarantees, and in case of problems, no one will be able to protect their interests. It is also regrettable that none of them could answer the question about the amount of health and life insurance», - said Nikolay Sukhanov. Representatives of the FETO SUR explained that such a vessel as the Vasiliiy Shukhin, must be covered by ITF collective agreement, concluded between the employer and the ITF affiliated trade union.
«This is important because the ITF imposes uniform requirements on vessels under a flag of convenience, preventing shipowners, for example, from paying seafarers of one nationality less than another in the same position. In addition, the ITF establishes decent wages and the amount of insurance in case of disability or death of a seafarer, equivalent to this difficult and dangerous work. Such an agreement can only be signed by an ITF member organization. In our country it is the Seafarers Union of Russia », - explains Nikolay Sukhanov.
The crewmembers, in turn, eagerly asked about the work of the SUR and the ITF and were impressed by the fact that the ITF sets a salary of $ 1800 for an AB on ships under a flag of convenience, and the amount of insurance in the event of a sailor's death is within $ 110 thousand. It is not surprising that the crew asked the FETO SUR to send a notice to the employer about the need to conclude a collective agreement with the Seafarers Union of Russia. It should be added that the Vasiliiy Shukhin’s crew was given magazines Maritime Union Herald and books telling about the rights of seafarers on ships under a convenient flag, which they can read on the voyage.