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SEAFARERS' UNION OF RUSSIA (AFFILIATED WITH ITF)
A NON-UNIONIZED SEAFARER
IS AN UNPROTECTED SEAFARER
The ITF inspectotare in Russia summed up its work in 2021. A total of 373 inspections of ships were carried out, and $1 231 090 of unpaid wages were returned to seafarers on time. All this is thanks to the close-knit team of the inspectorate: coordinator Sergey Fishov and inspectors Kirill Pavlov (St. Petersburg), Olga Ananina (Novorossiysk) and Petr Osichanskiy (Vladivostok).
It should be noted that ITF inspectors around the world carry out their work in close cooperation with national maritime trade unions. In our country, it is the Seafarers Union of Russia, a member organization of the ITF. Such cooperation allows us to achieve good results in providing real assistance to seafarers.
Salary arrears are still a serious problem in the merchant fleet. In this regard, it should be noted that the work of the ITF inspection plays an important role in protecting the rights of crewmembers. When visiting ships, ITF inspectors monitor the availability and implementation of collective agreements, monitor working conditions, and help seafarers and their family members who have encountered difficulties to solve problems. During the coronavirus pandemic, inspectors repeatedly helped crewmembers to repatriate on time, the cases of early sighning-off from the vessels are known, which in light of the ongoing crew change crisis deserves special attention.
So, in March 2021, a Russian seafarer from the m/v MSC Jeongmin, for personal reasons, wanted to complete the contract of employment ahead of time. At the time of his appeal to the SUR and the ITF, the ship was heading from Spain to Portugal, and then it was planned to call in the USA. It was important for the seafarer to repatriate before the call to the States. As a result of negotiations, the shipping company agreed on repatriation from Portugal. And even though the discharging was at the expense of the crewmember due to the fact that the contract was terminated prematurely, the Russian seafarer was glad of the opportunity.
ITF Coordinator in Russia Sergey Fishov assured that the work to protect the interests of crewmembers will continue.
The Seafarers Union of Russia reminds: if problems have arisen outside of our country, the members of the union can ask for help from any ITF inspector in a foreign port. You can find a representative of the federation through the website www.itfseafarers.org in a special section on the main page – Search for a ship, inspector or union (Look Up a Ship, Inspector or Union). To date, the ITF network consists of more than 140 inspectors working in more than 120 ports in 57 countries around the world.
Photo by Jake Lester Bodegas