The visit of SUR representatives prompted the shipowner to conclude an ITF collective agreement

The Greek company Gleamray Maritime Inc entered into negotiations with the PNO union on an ITF collective bargaining agreement for the m/v Maria G.O. (flag of  the Marshall Islands, IMO 9511428) following  the inspection of  the crew's working and living conditions on board the vessel carried out by Labor Inspectors of the Far Eastern Territorial Organization of the Seafarers' Union of Russia in the  Vostochny port.

- The ship has arrived from Japan to load coal and then will proceed  to  China, - Nikolay Sukhanov, Chairman of the Far Eastern Territorial Organization of the Seafarers' Union of Russia (FETO SUR) clarified.

According to documents, the registered owner of the vessel is Majuro-based  South Bird C (Marshall Islands), and the operator and beneficial owner is Gleamray Maritime Inc from Athens, Greece.

-The crew are all Filipinos, -  he continued.   The Declaration of Maritime Labor Compliance Part II and insurance certificates, required by the Maritime Labour Convention, are on board. However, there is no ITF collective agreement. The AB Seaman' salary is $1,200  and $9,100 is for a captain. The crew budget for food is $9 per day per person.

According to Nikolay Sukhanov, seafarers know little about flags of convenience and the ITF campaign against this  system: We told  the crew that the ITF is pressing FOC ships owners to sign agreements to guarantee  their crews receive decent salary for their work, perform their duties in normal conditions and have  insurance in case of an incident during a voyage and can count on assistance from maritime union and the ITF.

Thus, if there is a collective agreement in place, the AB Seaman' salary is no less than  $1,800  and death compensation is no less than $110,000. The only  guarantee of protection seafarers can rely upon  is a collective agreement. Unfortunately, the crew of  Maria G.O.  still has not such a guarantee.

Also, we told the crew that the Seafarers' Union of Russia  maintains  long-standing friendly relations with the Philippine trade union (AMOSUP) and provides assistance and support to Filipino seafarers facing troubles in Russia, - Nikolai Sukhanov said. In addition, Filipino seafarers are frequent guests of the International Marine Club in Nakhodka, where we arranged  everything necessary for a good rest -  table-top games, library, concerts, excursions. More than 3,000 of Filipinos visit the Club every year.

In addition, the SUR FETO Inspectors gave the crew of m/v Maria G.O the magazines "Maritime Unions Herald" and books on seafarers rights in English. Seafarers asked the SUR representatives to send the Greek shipowner a notice offering  to conclude a collective agreement with the Panhellenic Seamen's Federation  (PNO). Besides, the Filipino crew  took an active part in the action on board the vessel against FOCs.

Since we sent the notice, we received a response from the shipowner informing that  Gleamray Maritime Inc. started negotiations with the PNO union to sign the ITF collective agreement -   Sukhanov added.

Photo - FETO SUR