Association de citoyens qui défendent l'environnement maritime

 

Landerneau 19th December 2017

 

l'inspectrice ITF Laure TALLONNEAU

Confirmation that complacency is still very much in effect within European and World seas and ports! Indeed the bulk carrier "VITAKOSMOS" is a sad illustration of complacency: sailors underpaid, obstruction of any dialogue with the Filipino sailors who have embarked on this ship, failure to respect IMO social rules, failure to respect the International Maritime Convention MLC 2006 (which should improve lives of seafarers worldwide.)

The bulk carrier "VITAKOSMOS" owned by a Greek "rogue-shipowner" registered in Malta and managed by a Greek company "VITA MANAGEMENT SA" docked in the port of Brest, to disembark 30,000 tonnes of soya meal.

The sailors embarked on this ship receive a salary below the standard: a basic salary of 465 USD per month for a qualified sailor, being 874 USD per month for 85 hours work per week! The fatigue, the stress, the pressure… of these sailors seriously challenge their safety, and also that of the other ships! From received information, these sailors are exhausted and reduced to silence , under threat of blacklisting!

To survive, they must repeatedly accept contracts, each a minimum of 9 months in order to feed their families, little or no leave between each embarkation. This is an unacceptable exploitation by this "rogue-shipowner"for these Filipino sailors! The International Maritime Convention MLC 2006 should improve the living conditions for seafarers. Where is it in reality?

Still according to our information, the owner refuses all negotiation with the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF), the sailors wish to remain anonymous, but denounce a situation on board which is more and more tense. Harassment and the threat of finding themselves on a black list, only serves to aggravate this grotesque situation from another era, that the Association MOR GLAZ denounces in the strongest terms. The association requests that the French Maritime Authorities take a serious interest, and ensure that the ITF inspector Laure TALLONEAU can go on board to put in place a convention for these sailors.

For the MOR GLAZ association, it is time to end these disgraceful attitudes, shameful for the world's seafarers! These "rogue-shipowners" who practise unfair competition with regular "SHIPOWNERS" must be stopped but The authorities must also control a race to the bottom with social conditions so degrading for men reduced to a simple commodity!

These "rogue-shipowners" without scruples, without employment regulations, must be boycotted by the different maritime transport actors, charterers, freight forwarders, insurers, port agents and all the others! The "VITAKOSMOS" "rogue-shipowner" cannot, must not after such an attitude remain any longer within the maritime world! This "rogue-shipowner's" customers can only expect problems sooner or later, and see their reputation soiled.

The MOR GLAZ association, again denounces these abuses by "rogue-shipowners". Complacency in all its splendour of "rogue-shipowners". Sailors exploited; Maltese flag of convenience. This ship has nevertheless obtained "its authorisation" despite non respect of all international employment regulations !!

For the MOR GLAZ association Jean-Paul HELLEQUIN President

Translation T.J. and M-L. DAVIES