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SEAFARERS' UNION OF RUSSIA (AFFILIATED WITH ITF)
A NON-UNIONIZED SEAFARER
IS AN UNPROTECTED SEAFARER
Thanks to the efforts of the International Transport Workers Federation' Inspectorate in Russia about USD1,3 million of back wages had been recovered in 2022 from shipowners in favor of seafarers. For the last year they conducted 354 inspections with focus on working conditions of seafarers.
“I am proud of the work our team has done,” - ITF Coordinator in Russia Sergey Fishov commented. “It has always been important for us to have opportunity to get on board to make sure that employers respect the rights of seafarers and to help those crew members who need ITF assistance.
As before, the Inspectorate many times helped seafarers repatriate in due time and sign off from a vessel early. For example, in the summer a Russian seafarer from the m/v FMT Efes needed to return home before the end of the contract for family reasons. Despite the case did not fit the collective agreement's conditions under which an employer should bear the costs of early repatriation the shipowner fully paid the repatriation of the seafarer and paid him all due wages thanks to the social partnership and as a result of negotiations between ITF and the crewing agency.
ITF Inspectors in Russia work in close cooperation with their colleagues around the world. As an example of international solidarity we can recall the case with five Russian crew members of the m/v Oslo Forest 2, they needed assistance in repatriation after the expiration of the contracts. The ITF Inspectors in Sweden, Norway and Germany participated in the arrangement of their signing off from the vessel. At the request of the Swedes the port state control officials visited the vessel and issued the owner and the manager of the ship an order to sign off the Russian seafarers.
Meanwhile the Norwegian ITF Inspectors held negotiations with the shipowner since Oslo Forest 2 had been registered in the second Norwegian ship register. The employer promised the sailors would be signed off from the vessel as soon as possible. However, a few days later, on the way to the Kiel Canal, it turned out that the employer failed to arrange repatriation of the seafarers.
The PSC and the ITF Inspectors of Germany intervened the situation. Only then did the shipowner find an opportunity to sign off two seafarers in the Kiel Canal and the rest in North Africa.
In addition, the ITF Inspectorates always work closely with the national maritime unions that are affiliated to the ITF. In our country this is the Seafarers' Union of Russia.
The SUR reminds that any union member facing problems abroad can ask for help from any ITF Inspector in a foreign port. You can find details of ITF Representatives on the website www.itfseafarers.org in a special section on the main page - "Look Up a Ship, Inspector or Union". In addition, seafarers can always contact the ITF Inspectorate in Russia: ITF Coordinator Sergey Fishov and ITF Inspectors Kirill Pavlov and Rodion Sukhorukov (St. Petersburg), Olga Ananina (Novorossiysk) and Petr Osichansky (Vladivostok). Their contacts are available on the SUR website in the ITF section.
Photo: Jake Lester Bodegas for the ITF photo contest