15.02.2023

You need to be a member of a trade union, not just to know of its existence

Inspectors of the Far Eastern Territorial Organization of the Seafarers Union of Russia visited the m/v "Bilibino" (Russian flag, IMO 8801632). The vessel, berthed at Nakhodka Sea Fishing Port,  was under loading of equipment destined to Chukotka. The crew of 18 seafarers, mostly from Primorsky region, welcomed the trade union representatives aboard the vessel. 

According to FETO SUR Chairman Nikolay Sukhanov, the registered owner, operator and beneficiary  owner of the vessel is the Chukotka Trading Company. Captain of the m/v "Bilibino" invited the Inspectors to his cabin and provided them with the documents necessary for verification: Declaration of Maritime Labor Convention Compliance, Part II, and employment contracts of the crew members.

- We learned that the  seafarers  were insured by the Ingosstrakh company, it was indicated in their insurance certificates  that the amount of the death compensation would be $20,000, - Sukhanov noted. However, as it turned out after a telephone call to the insurance company, in this case the shipowner insured his civil liability for seafarer's death. The employee himself had no insurance coverage under such an agreement. According to the employment contracts AB Seaman wage was  RUB80, 000  with a salary of RUB15, 210 s, and  captain earned RUB260, 000.

In addition to the numbers, FETO SUR Inspectors raised another important issue: why a sailor should be a member of the national union. For example, a SUR collective agreement on board a ship would definitely remove issues concerning wages level, insurance and supplies, Nikolay Sukhanov explained.   Besides, to expect full assistance you need to be a member of a trade union, and not just know about its existence, since it can represent and defend the interests of only its members. For those seafarers who have not yet joined the SUR, we have left application forms and advised to join the trade union.

Also, FETO SUR representatives answered the questions of the crew members and gave them  books and magazines "Maritime Unions Herald" covering in detail the activities of the Seafarers' Union of  Russia and the International Transport Workers' Federation.

Photo by FETO SUR


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