NWSC Seeks Return of Losses from FSU Actions

After the Finnish Seamen’s Union rejected to unload the Russian cargo vessel M/V Malachite, owned by shipping and vessel management company North-Western Shipping, the company now plans to seek compensation of its losses.

The vessel was supposed to be unloaded on December 10 when it arrived to the Finnish port of Uusikaupunki, however, the FSU, part of the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF), failed to do so due to an alleged absence of proper labor contract with ITF onboard the vessel.

According to the company, the FSU wanted to check the vessel’s papers and permissions, and after the crew did not present these, the FSU threatened to launch a boycott.

NWSC said that M/V Malachite is registered with the Russian Maritime Register of Shipping and has all the necessary documents complying with MLC 2006. The crew has a collective agreement with Water Transport Trade Union of the Russian Federation (WTTU)  complying with the international standards. However, the company informed that the ITF inspectors consider Russian agreement as worsening the rights of seafarers.

North-Western Shipping Company said it appealed to the Court of Finland for the protection of the company’s interests, which decided that there was no legal basis for a boycott and therefore prohibited such an action.

The Russian company said that the FSU has been avoiding the receipt of the decision resulting in further cargo operation delays on Tuesday. NWSC claims such behaviour is illegal and punishable with a EUR 50,000 fine.

In a similar incident which occurred in 2014, the Finnish court ordered the FSU to continue loading operations and ruled the Union’s actions as illegal.

World Maritime News Staff