FETO SUR Inspectors examined working conditions of SUR members

Inspectors of the Far Eastern Territorial Organization of the Seafarers Union of Russia (FETO SUR) visited MV St. SOFIA (flag of Liberia, IMO 9419008). The vessel was staying at the berth of the Nakhodka sea commercial port under unloading of synthetic rutile delivered from India. The registered owner of the bulk carrier is Loadstar Shipping Ltd, the operator and beneficial owner is HGF Denizcilic Ltd STI, both are Turkey-based. 

According to Nikolay Sukhanov, FETO SUR Chairman, the crew consists of 16 Russians, all of whom were employed through crewing agency in St. Petersburg. The salary of an AB Seaman is EUR1,800, a captains one is EUR9,000. The crew members have employment contracts that do not specify the amount of insurance payout in case of death, but the names of their family members entitled to receive the insurance payment are written down. All seafarers are members of the Seafarers' Union of Russia. 

Sukhanov explained that the collective agreement previously signed by the Norwegian trade union was cancelled due to the change of the shipowner, although it was valid until April 30, 2024. -The seafarers were glad to meet us, - the FETO SUR Chairman noted. The first thing they asked was how to renew the collective agreement, but this time with the Seafarers Union of Russia, and to maintain the terms of the previously valid document. FETO SUR Inspectors confirmed to the crew members that they were working on board the flag of convenience vessel not covered by a collective agreement. The main problem is that if such document is not available, the opportunity opens up for employers to violate the rights of seafarers - to save on their wages and safety. In other words, vessels have the nationality of the State whose flag they are flying, and the seafarers national legislation cannot be applied to labor relations between the employer and crew members. In the absence of supervision, the only counteracting force capable to protect the interests of maritime workers remains the maritime trade unions. -Taking into account the questions and wishes of the seafarers, we decided to send a notice to the Turkish shipowner about the need to conclude a collective agreement with the Seafarers Union of Russia, while authorizing the captain of the vessel to sign a document on behalf of the company, - Nikolay Sukhanov added. The SUR representatives gave the crew members fresh magazines "Maritime Unions Herald", books on rights of seafarers working on board of Flag of Convenience vessels, and calendars for 2024. Also, they invited seafarers to visit International Marine Club of Nakhodka.