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SEAFARERS' UNION OF RUSSIA (AFFILIATED WITH ITF)
A NON-UNIONIZED SEAFARER
IS AN UNPROTECTED SEAFARER
At the end of June 2022, the 2nd Engineer of the containership MSC Donata turned to the Far Eastern Territorial Organization of the Seafarers' Union of Russia. Previously he contacted the shipowner many times and asked to sign off him from the vessel due to the expiration of the contract, but in vain. Nevertheless, this July the seafarer was successfully repatriated with the FETO support. Yesterday he came from Vladivostok to Nakhodka personally to express gratitude to the trade union for the support. According to him, this has already been his fifth appeal to the SUR, and all of them turned to be a success.
Recall that the seafarer applied to the FETO when MSC Donata was en route to the port of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (the Canary Islands). Representatives of the trade union immediately informed the SUR Vice Chairman Vadim Ivanov about the problems the seafarer had with repatriation and agreed with him future actions, prepared an appeal to the Italian Union of Seafarers - a member of the International Federation of Transport Workers, as there was a collective agreement on board signed with this trade union. The SUR FETO also contacted the ITF Inspector at the port of Las Palmas with a request to assist the seafarer to sign off from the vessel. The Inspector managed to communicate with the company, which promised to arrange a change for the crew member at the next port of call - Dakar, Senegal. Having received the tickets, the seafarer agreed to wait.
However, before entering the port of Dakar the company called the seafarer and blindsided him telling that there would be no replacement in Dakar as his relief had problems with documents. The 2nd Engineer was offered stay on board till the next port of call. The seafarer reported the news to SUR and to the ITF Inspector who monitored the case also.
The company was promptly advised that it was the responsibility of the shipowner to find a replacement and that the seafarer was currently working illegally under the 2006 Maritime Labor Convention because he had no contract and was not actually insured. If the crew member is not repatriated in Dakar, the union will report the case to Port State Control, the flag state, the International Labor Organization and the P&I Club. The SUR advised the seafarer to stop working upon arrival at the port, since his contract had expired. As a result, the 2nd Engineer was repatriated from Dakar, as scheduled.
The seafarer once again thanked the SUR FETO for their help. “My attempts to resolve this issue on my own with the assistance of ITF Inspectors in Valencia and Las Palmas failed. It was successfully addressed only after the SUR had intervened”, - he said.
According to SUR FETO Chairman Nikolay Sukhanov, during the talk the sailor received comprehensive answers to all his questions regarding mobilization. FETO representatives handed him the latest issues of the Maritime Unions Herald journal and a book on the rights of seafarers working on board flags of convenience ships.