Unions' Members Are A Priority


Prior to the meeting of  the Fair Practices Committee  (FPC) there  have been completed the Seafarers and Dockers Conferences in Cape Town,  South Africa. The  unions, which are the members of the International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF), took part in  the Conferences.  Among them is the SUR's delegation included the Chairman of  the union Yuri Sukhorukov and the Vice-Chairman Vadim Ivanov, and Vasily Kozarenko as  Chairman of the Dockers' Union of Russia (DUR).

During the Seafarers Conference from 5 to 6 June, the Seafarers' Union of Russia (SUR) came up with a proposal  to give necessary priority in  providing assistance to the seafarers who are  the members of the ITF-affiliated  national unions  and those  seafarers who are paying membership fees. It is know fact that if seafarers get into trouble, they  start to seek assistance from multiple bodies especially a union even they are not its members.

“A decision on our proposal hasn’t been adopted. However, the most participants of the Section share the same point of view,” said Vadim Ivanov. “A seafarer  himself makes a decision to join to a trade union or not. If seafarer decides and ready to fight for his or her rights in extreme situation, it is a seafarer’s choice. Those who are not the members of the union have all opportunities to protect their rights according  to legislation of  a flag state or  a port state. Seafarers  by themselves can  to apply for  assistance from a law firm or consulate.”

Automation, securing deck cargoes, labour safety and security have been discussed during the Dockers Conference conducting parallel with the Seafarers  Conference. More attention has been paid to labour disputes. Vasily Kozarenko told about the situations with which dockers have faced in Russia and  he mentioned that the solidarity  should join the  port workers. Now in the global mass media widely discuss the  months-long strike of Spanish dockers protesting against the government reforms which are threatening to cut 6500 jobs. It's just the tip of the iceberg –  the dockers have  significant problems in Colombia, Nigeria, Tangier, Guatemala and other countries. The Dockers Section of the ITF put under control the  situation in the dockers’ unions mentioned during the Conference and will be monitored it continuously.  Also here have been worked out the Section’s priorities on 2018-2023.

The work of the Fair Practices Committee directly started after  the ending of the Conferences and the meeting of the FPC’s Leading Group which completed  on 7 June in Cape Town. The work of the FPC  will be lasting  until 9 June. In two days the participants will consider such questions as the International Bargaining Forum (IBF), the Maritime Roundtable, the ITF agreements for flags  of  convenience  and the campaigns against flags of  convenience and ports of convenience. The Committee’s members will  hear the reports of the  Seafarers and Dockers Conferences; a report on previous FPC’s meeting; and a financial statement. The Committee will view as well all  additional reports and proposals submitted by the  affiliated organizations.