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 August 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Ports

Runaway Crane Barge Sinks on the Mississippi

The U.S. Coast Guard is working with a team of responders to recover a runaway crane barge that sunk near Convent on the Mississippi River.   The crane barge

Nigeria Ramps up Push to Eradicate Oil Theft

Nigerian authorities hope to put an end to rampant oil theft in eight months by increasing drone and naval monitoring of territorial waters and working with local communities,

MN: Foss Maritime Company

The Company: Foss Maritime Company is wholly owned by Saltchuk Resources, a privately owned family investment company formed in 1982 and based in the Pacific Northwest.

Environmental

MN: Corvus Energy

The Company: Corvus is a manufacturer of proven, high power Energy Storage Systems (ESS). Its field proven battery systems provide power to hybrid and fully electric marine propulsion systems.

LNG-fueled Box Ship a 'Momentous Step Forward'

On Saturday, August 29, 2015, the world’s first series of energy efficient containerships welcomed its second LNG-powered vessel in San Diego, fueling the U.S.

Liam Means Business for Shipping Cluster

Enterprising student Liam Finch has been putting his summer days to good use by working on an important survey for the Isle of Man Shipping Association (IOMSA).

Maritime Security

Nigeria Ramps up Push to Eradicate Oil Theft

Nigerian authorities hope to put an end to rampant oil theft in eight months by increasing drone and naval monitoring of territorial waters and working with local communities,

IMO’s Sekimizu Condemns People Smugglers

Prompted by recent incidents in which hundreds of migrants attempting to cross the Mediterranean to Europe have lost their lives, including dozens found dead in

Migrant Crisis Promts Call to IMRF for Help

Mediterranean Rescue Services are in urgent need of support because they are struggling to keep up with the replacement of equipment being used to rescue the increasing

Marine Materials

MN: Corvus Energy

The Company: Corvus is a manufacturer of proven, high power Energy Storage Systems (ESS). Its field proven battery systems provide power to hybrid and fully electric marine propulsion systems.

Total Lubmarine Resumes Full Service in Tianjin

Marine lubricants and greases provider Total Lubmarine informs it has resumed all services based out of the Port of Tianjin following the deadly explosions that rocked the port August 12.

Polymer Serves an Array of Workboat Applications

Workboats are built for a diverse range of purposes, but they all share the need for trouble-free bushings and bearings. Answering this call, Vesconite offers a line of low-friction,

News

Latest ShipConstructor Update Targets Offshore

With the release of ShipConstructor 2016 R1.1, SSI said it provides additional enhancement for the offshore rig construction market, particularly with regards to weld management.

Runaway Crane Barge Sinks on the Mississippi

The U.S. Coast Guard is working with a team of responders to recover a runaway crane barge that sunk near Convent on the Mississippi River.   The crane barge

Joe Pyne Joins DHT Holdings’ Board of Directors

Crude oil shipper DHT Holdings, Inc. announced today that it has appointed Joseph H. Pyne to its board of directors, expanding the board from three to four independent directors.

Maritime Safety

Nigeria Ramps up Push to Eradicate Oil Theft

Nigerian authorities hope to put an end to rampant oil theft in eight months by increasing drone and naval monitoring of territorial waters and working with local communities,

IMO’s Sekimizu Condemns People Smugglers

Prompted by recent incidents in which hundreds of migrants attempting to cross the Mediterranean to Europe have lost their lives, including dozens found dead in

Total Lubmarine Resumes Full Service in Tianjin

Marine lubricants and greases provider Total Lubmarine informs it has resumed all services based out of the Port of Tianjin following the deadly explosions that rocked the port August 12.

Vessels

Huntington Ingalls Cites Interest in Building US Icebreakers

Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc, which builds aircraft carriers and U.S. Navy warships, on Tuesday said it was keen to bid to build new icebreakers for the U.

MN: Foss Maritime Company

The Company: Foss Maritime Company is wholly owned by Saltchuk Resources, a privately owned family investment company formed in 1982 and based in the Pacific Northwest.

New Tanker Stena Imperial Named in Savannah

A new 50,000 DWT MR chemical and product tanker based on the IMOIIMAX concept, Stena Imperial, was named yesterday in Savannah, Ga.   Built by Chinese shipyard

Communication

New Satcom Global Website in Oceania

Today, Satcom Global launched its Australian website, www.satcomglobal.com.au, which will offer a platform to better support our valued channel partners and customers in the region.

TASI Acquires SignalFire Telemetry

TASI HOLDINGS INC. announced today it has completed the acquisition of all shares of SignalFire Telemetry, located in Hudson, Massachusetts.  This new acquisition

Western Cape Ports Now 'smartPORTS'

The Ports of Cape Town and Saldanha became the latest to go live with Transnet National Ports Authority’s new R79 million web-based Integrated Port Management System (IPMS),

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Pipelines Pod Propulsion Port Authority Salvage Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | 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: 0.4522 sec (2 req/sec)