Unions Take Action On ‘Sea Of Shame’

By Joseph R. Fonseca
Monday, May 26, 2014

The ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation) and its affiliated unions are launching a week of action today from ports on the Black Sea to combat what an updated report from the organisation finds are still shocking levels of crew abuse and unseaworthy vessels there.

Two years after the ITF and its unions in Black Sea countries launched an intensive campaign to expose these shameful conditions (see http://bit.ly/1ojQpj6), it remains one of the most dangerous places on earth to be a seafarer. This week of action is the latest step in the campaign to publicise and improve that disgraceful situation. Joint teams of ITF inspectors and union activists in Bulgaria, Georgia, Romania, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine will use it to inspect ships, inform seafarers of their rights – particularly under the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (MLC) – and highlight the need for drastic action by littoral state governments.
 
ITF maritime coordinator Tomas Abrahamsson commented: “Any honest observer will find themselves appalled by the low standards in this region. The state of some of these vessels and the abominable working conditions on them almost defy description.
 
“Unions are actively battling these conditions and, even in the face of current political events, they are focusing as usual on the interests of workers. There is, though, a crying need for genuine governmental action. There have been some encouraging detentions by port state control in Bulgaria and Russia but much more needs to be done.”
 
The desperate need for action is underlined by an updated version of the report Black Sea of Shame, which has been prepared in conjunction with this action week. 
 
It is attached and also available at http://bit.ly/1nj890P and updates the original 2012 report, which can be found at bit.ly/1gnftp1
 
The introduction to the new report states:
In June 2012 ITF affiliated unions compiled the ‘Black Sea of Shame’ report to highlight the frequency of serious accidents and the poor living and working conditions endured by seafarers on vessels trading in the Black Sea area.
 
Since then, the ILO Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC) entered into force on 20 August 2013 and is now in force in two countries in the region: Bulgaria (ratified 12 April 2010) and Russia (ratified 20 August 2012). Thus far however, a significant impact of the MLC has yet to be felt. The region is still a haven for older vessels with inadequate insurance operated by owners with scant regard for obligations to their crew. In addition political instability and a lack of political will make it difficult to develop robust national legislation and mechanisms to ensure effective implementation of internationally accepted standards. The five ITF inspectors in the region based in the ports of Batumi, Constanta, Istanbul, Novorossiysk and Odessa continue to handle multiple cases of non-payment of wages, noncompliance with international standards, poor living and working conditions, and on occasion, abandonment and loss of life. This update collects together examples of cases that would indicate that much more work is needed before the region can shake off the ignominious title of ‘Black Sea of Shame’.
 
Maritime Reporter January 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Ports

Fender Repairs Works for Dolphins at Hong Kong

For approximately four months, fender repairing and replacement works for five of the dolphins will be carried out in the To Kwa Wan Typhoon Shelter. The

Adani Ports Consolidated PAT Shoots Up by 37%

Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Limited (“APSEZ”), India’s largest port developer and part of Adani Group, today announced the financial results for the third

Puget Sound Container Volumes Flat in 2014

Container volumes through Puget Sound’s largest container ports remained flat in 2014, according to numbers released jointly for the first time by the ports of Seattle and Tacoma.

Environmental

MHI Wins LNG Order

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) has received an order for two next-generation LNG (liquefied natural gas) carriers from Mitsui & Co., Ltd. The carriers

Fender Repairs Works for Dolphins at Hong Kong

For approximately four months, fender repairing and replacement works for five of the dolphins will be carried out in the To Kwa Wan Typhoon Shelter. The

Ecochlor BWTS Chosen for 8 New Bulkers

Times Navigation, Inc. has selected Ecochlor, Inc. to provide ballast water treatment systems (BWTS) for installation on a fleet of eight new CROWN63 (63,500 DWT)

Marine Materials

MHI Wins LNG Order

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) has received an order for two next-generation LNG (liquefied natural gas) carriers from Mitsui & Co., Ltd. The carriers

A HERO on the Seas

The expansion of the Panama Canal has opened up an opportunity for WWL to develop its next generation RoRo carriers. Due to its importance to international trade,

Fender Repairs Works for Dolphins at Hong Kong

For approximately four months, fender repairing and replacement works for five of the dolphins will be carried out in the To Kwa Wan Typhoon Shelter. The

News

USCG Rescue 2 on Bahamian Island

Two stranded men are safe after the Coast Guard rescued them off an Island in the Bahamas Tuesday afternoon. Coast Guard 7th District watchstanders received

Directorate Changes at Fastnet

Fastnet, the UK and Irish listed E&P company focused on near-term exploration and appraisal acreage in Morocco and the Celtic Sea, announces certain management

Cutlass Express 2015 Commences

Maritime forces from East Africa, South Africa, Europe, Indian Ocean nations, the United States and several international organizations began the fourth iteration

Maritime Safety

USCG Rescue 2 on Bahamian Island

Two stranded men are safe after the Coast Guard rescued them off an Island in the Bahamas Tuesday afternoon. Coast Guard 7th District watchstanders received

Cutlass Express 2015 Commences

Maritime forces from East Africa, South Africa, Europe, Indian Ocean nations, the United States and several international organizations began the fourth iteration

Next Generation Bridge Concept

Rolls-Royce, VTT team on new Ship Intelligence Vison   For decades the maritime industry has long-theorized of emulating the “airline model” in uniformity and

Vessels

USCG Rescue 2 on Bahamian Island

Two stranded men are safe after the Coast Guard rescued them off an Island in the Bahamas Tuesday afternoon. Coast Guard 7th District watchstanders received

IMTRA LED For Vessel Control System Integration

IMTRA, the leading manufacturer and importer of quality marine products, through its integration-focused design philosophy, created its entire range of 2- and

MOL, Mitsui Ink Charter Deal

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. signed a contract with Mitsui & Co., Ltd. today (January 29) to charter a new 177,000m3 liquefied natural gas (LNG) carrier. This

Communication

Directorate Changes at Fastnet

Fastnet, the UK and Irish listed E&P company focused on near-term exploration and appraisal acreage in Morocco and the Celtic Sea, announces certain management

Transas: The Bridge to Tomorrow

Transas was founded in 1990, by a group of former navigators and engineers, who at that time envisioned ways in which computers could revolutionize maritime safety, communications and security.

Oman to Implement Maritime Communications Network

Oman to roll out the national maritime communications network along its lengthy coastline soon, says Al-Madakhel Investment that has been tasked with design, construction

 
 
Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Maritime Standards Navigation Port Authority Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Repair Ship Simulators Sonar
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.2444 sec (4 req/sec)