Crew of Russian Fishing Tender Strike Over Pay
[Brief] In the Netherlands, the crew of the Russian fishing tender Nikolay Kasatkin have gone on strike to protest non-payment of wages, and have refused to unload the ship's hold. The vessel has been detained by Dutch authorities until her owners settle four months of back pay, an amount which is reported to total to $90,000.
The 180-foot geared cargo vessel is home ported out of Nevelsk, on Sakhalin Island in the Russian Far East. As of Monday morning, her AIS signal showed her alongside a pier near Beverwijk, on the channel leading to Amsterdam.
Authorities have interviewed executives with her Russian owners in connection with the possibility of criminal charges for labor rights violations. Law enforcement officials have also seized documents and computers from the owner’s offices as part of the investigation.
"During the inspection the fact of wage arrears was confirmed and the exact size of the debt was established," said the senior assistant director of the Russian transportation agency DVSU TFR, Oksana Polshakova, speaking to Interfax.
In addition to the allegations of unpaid wages, port authorities asserted that the seafarer's labor contracts, medical certificates and other papers were not in order. The vessel was also reportedly out of food.
The owner of the Kasatkin contests these charges.
RIA Novosti reports that the Sakhalin Regional Fisheries Trade Union has not had contact with the shipowner and does not intend to intervene.