“My task is to maintain a normal working environment on board”
Captain Andrei Zhigno, a member of Seafarers' Union of Russia, told how the working conditions of Russian seafarers have changed in the face of sanctions pressure:
- Indeed, the redundancy took place in some foreign companies, but these employers only made themselves worse, because it's impossible to replaced en masse such specialists as Russian ship's officers having high qualifications, knowledge and skills. Of course, you can find worthy professionals among representatives of other countries, but the level of qualification will be different. As proof of this, those who were the first to stop hiring Russians are now urgently looking for ways to get them back on their vessels.
The captain notes that there are no problems with obtaining a Schengen visa: “At least in Novorossiysk, you can apply for a Greek visa. There are difficulties with obtaining USA visa, but I know that some seafarers have managed to get USA visa in Serbia or Kazakhstan.”
As for the salary, then people adapt here too. There is a foreign payment system ShipMoney, which operates on foreign sites. But it has restrictions on cash withdrawal of foreign currency, so it seems to be the best way out for officers. “In my opinion, a more convenient way is to receive cash and declare it when entering the country, there are no problems with this,” the captain adds.
Andrey Zhigno has been working in mixed crews for over 12 years. He considers his task as a captain in establishing normal relationships on board. “After the start of the special war operation, I worked with Georgians, Ukrainians, and Filipino ratings. I can say that the seafarers are really outside of politics, they understand that we are at work. This is because all seafarers have the same goal - to return to their loved ones healthy, in good spirits and with money earned,” - the captain concludes.
Source and photo: Southern Territorial Organization of SUR