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SEAFARERS' UNION OF RUSSIA (AFFILIATED WITH ITF)
A NON-UNIONIZED SEAFARER
IS AN UNPROTECTED SEAFARER
This was told by the chairman of the Far Eastern Territorial Organization of the Seafarers Union of Russia Nikolay Sukhanov after visiting the bulk carrier Amphitrite (IMO 9599157, flag of the Marshall Islands, built in 2012) at the berth of the Vostochny port, where the ship was loading coal bound for Indian port of Paradip. According to Nikolay Sukhanov, although there are no serious problems on board, the wages of seafarers are below the level set up by ITF if the vessel was covered by the collective agreement. So, on board of m/v Amphitrite an AB’s salary is only $ 1,200, while under the ITF agreement it’s at least $1,800. All this is in addition to other reliable guarantees and assistance from the Federation in case of any problematic situations.
In general, as Nikolay Sukhanov stressed, the ITF has long opposed flags of convenience. In many ways precisely because of the lower level of working conditions on the ships that fly such flags. In addition, often flag States are in no hurry to deal with problems on board, no matter how serious they may be, and seafarers find themselves in difficult circumstances. That is why the ITF insists on the need for a collective agreement that helps to change the situation. The agreement with the Federation guarantees the crew to work in good conditions. In addition, the ITF often helps seafarers even in the most seemingly hopeless situations.
The registered owner of the bulk carrier Amphitrite is Guam Shipping Co, the ship operator and the actual shipowner who pays the wages of the seafarers and is responsible for them - Diana Shipping Services.
The representatives of the trade union were warmly welcomed on board. The captain was not only very friendly, but also allowed to get acquainted with the necessary documents. All of them were present on board. However, the representatives of the trade union were alerted by the fact that even the captain himself did not know how much he was insured for in case of death or injury on the flight. The salary of the main person on the ship, by the way, was 11 thousand Euros.
In total, there are 21 crewmembers on board, three of them – the Master, the Chief Mate and the junior officer (a young Greek woman) are Greeks, the remaining 18 people are Filipinos. The seafarers were very pleased with the gifts of the trade union – the new SUR calendars for 2022, magazines Maritime Union Herald and books on the rights of seafarers working on ships under flags of convenience in English.
«Having answered all the questions of the seafarers, including about the pandemic, we together with them held a protest action against the flags of convenience on the stern of the ship. Then a notice of warning was sent to the shipowner about the need to sign a collective agreement between the ITF and the Greek seafarers' union. A copy of it went to the Philippine Seafarers' Union»,- said Nikolay Sukhanov