ITF Helps Russian Crew a Second Time

Credit: Morten Bach
Credit: Morten Bach

By The Maritime Executive 09-25-2018 06:24:49

For the second time, the ITF has helped a Russian crew anchored south of Skagen in Denmark. 

After months of wrangling, $324,370 in unpaid wages have now been paid to the crew of 19 from the Turkish/Russian tanker Natig Aliyev. Danish authorities have now released the ship which had been at anchor for around eight months.

The owed wages were paid by the new charterer of the ship, said a spokesperson for the Danish labor organization CO-Sea. “This is the second time within six months that ITF has had to put its foot down to ensure payment of the ship’s crew, and it is the third time within a year that the same Turkish/Russian shipping company, Palmali Shipping, has been caught red-handed in Denmark violating the international convention to secure the rights of seafarers, the MLC,” asserts the organization.

In March, Danish ITF inspector Morten Bach intervened to secure wages owed to the crew dating back to November last year – $250,000 dollars. At the time the situation on board the anchored ship was extreme, as the crew were left without provisions. The situation was brought to the attention of the ITF when the crew sent an anonymous cry for help to Bach. 

At that time, they had been anchored off Skagen for three weeks. The ship had arrived at the anchorage south of Skagen in early February. Danish authorities had arrested the ship as the result of a claim made by a bunker company. At the end of February, the Danish Maritime Authority also detained the ship after the ITF reported the violation of the MLC convention.

On Monday September 24, that arrest was finally canceled as the crew has been paid. Bach said naturally the crew were very happy. “But it is shocking that a shipping company can treat its seafarers this way. Several of them had not been paid since late February. I can only warn unscrupulous shipping companies against entering Danish waters. In ITF, we pay attention, and we have a very good cooperation with the Danish authorities including the Danish Maritime Authorities.”

With the help of a Danish agent in Aalborg, the ship is now entering into a new charter for a company in Estonia. The Estonian company is also taking over crew management for the Natig Aliyev which is expected to sail south towards a loading port in the Baltic.