Shipowner of m/v Agia Eirini Force has been sent a notice
According to Nikolay Sukhanov, Chairman of the Far Eastern Territorial Organization of the Seafarers' Union of Russia (SUR FETO) the notice containing a requirement to conclude the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) approved collective agreement, which had not been available on board the vessel. That's why the total salary of an Able Seaman was USD950, which is much less than if the vessel was covered by the ITF agreement. The captain's wage was USD8815.
The SUR FETO Inspectors visited the ship Agia Eirini Force (IMO 9340063, flag of the Marshall Islands, 2008-built) berthed at the seaport of Nakhodka. The registered owner of the vessel is Vega Brightness Maritime Ltd, and the operator and beneficial owner is Polforce Shipping Co SA, both are Piraeus-based (Greece). All the necessary documents were on board the ship, as well as insurance certificates. The insurance payment in case of seafarer' death was USD50,000.
The crew consisted of 20 Filipinos. “We explained the crew the main goal of the shipowner who register vessel under a flag of convenience is to get significant savings in salaries, which was the case with this vessel,” Nikolay Sukhanov said. “Having an ITF collective agreement on board a flag of convenience vessel would ensure crew members that their rights are not violated.”
ITF has long been struggling against shipowners using flags of convenience. ITF aims to eliminate this system and establish shipping industry regulation based on a genuine link between the flag of the vessel and the country that owns and operates the vessel.
In general, ITF has been doing utmost to improve the terms of seafarers' employment and to ensure that all of them, regardless of skin color, nationality, gender, race and religion, are protected from exploitation by the employer.
While visiting the vessel SUR FETO representatives gave the crew members the latest “Maritime Union's Herald” magazines and booklets in English on the rights of seafarers working on FOC ships. Following the request of the crew the Union sent to the Greek shipowner a notice asking to negotiate with the seafarers' union and sign a collective agreement. In addition, crew members held a protest against the flag of convenience at the stern of the vessel.