The owner of m/v La Pride will start negotiations with ITF

Following the visit of the tanker La Pride (IMO 9274616, flag of Liberia, 2004-built) at the berth of the Nakhodka oil port,  Nikolay Sukhanov, Chairman of the Far Eastern Territorial Organization of the Seafarers Union of Russia (FETO SUR),  told that the crew was sure that their vessel was covered by the International Transport Workers' Federation collective agreement. Thus, the contracts of employment of Russian crew members - the Chief Officer and the 2nd Engineer - indicate that they work in accordance with  the ITF-approved collective agreement, signed between  SUR and the Indian shipowner Bravo Ship Management PVT LTD. However, according to ITF, the vessel is not covered by the collective agreement. Representatives of the FETO SUR turned to SUR Vice President  Vadim Ivanov to clarify the situation.

It turned out that the shipowner does indeed have a collective agreement with the SUR, which is applying to another company's vessel the tanker  Yash. Thus, the captain provided us with the SUR collective agreement, not knowing that did not apply to the m/v/ La Pride, Nikolay Sukhanov said. We informed the crew, consisted of  23 seafarers (2 Russians, 3 Ukrainians, 3 Georgians, 2 Indians and 13 Filipinos),  that their vessel was not covered by the ITF-approved collective agreement,   that could negatively affect the workers, as in case a problem arise there will be no one to protect their rights. 

Taking into account the international crew on board, the Indian shipowner and Liberian  flag of the vessel, the confusion may arise concerning the jurisdiction which  should govern the issues in relation to protection of crew's rights. Besides,  the working conditions on board the vessels not covered by a collective agreement are often significantly below the standards set by the ITF. 

For example, we found out that at present the  Filipino crew members  are insured by the state in case of death in the amount of just USD50,000. If there was a collective agreement on board, this amount would reach USD108,000".

The salaries of seafarers would also be higher: at the moment the Filipino AB Seaman receives USD1,500 per month at a base rate of USD698, and in case there was a collective agreement on board, it would exceed  USD1,800. The salary of the Indian Master stands for USD15,000.

Representatives of the SUR FETO told the seafarers how the ITF and the SUR were  combating flags of convenience and, at the request of the crew, sent a notice to the shipowner to conclude the  ITF-approved  collective agreement before the vessel's departure from Nakhodka. Just a few hours later we received a response from the company that it was ready to start negotiations with the ITF and had already sent all the necessary documents for signing a collective agreement for nine of its vessels, including the m/v La Pride, - Nikolay Sukhanov said. We hope that all vessels with  Russian crew members will be covered by the SUR collective agreement.

Also, the Inspectors noted a team's friendly and working atmosphere on board  though  the international composition of the crew. Before to leave the tanker, the SUR representatives handed over to the crew members fresh issues of the "Maritime Unions Herald" journal and books on the rights of seafarers on ships flying flags of convenience.