In today’s crisis for our country time the seafarers are looking for any opportunity of employment abroad, for any good vessel and fair contract. But unfortunately some easiest issues are forgotten during the job search, and the seafarer can sign a contract with an unknown ship owner advised by some unknown agents. I can divide my article on help for seafarers in getting outstanding wages into two parts.
The following advices will help the seafarers not to get into trouble and provide the help in the case if they have already got into it.
To minimize the possibility of nonpayment wages during the contract period, one should take into account and know the following:
- If you sign a contract through crewing, it’s necessary
- to check the availability of employment mediation license
- to find out the vessel and company name before signing a contract
- to find out the trade union title and the collective agreement existence aboard. It would be also good to revise the conditions.
- to demand the contract copy (not always issued to the seafarers)
After receiving all the details, you’ll be able to check the security degree of the ship owner, the vessel’s background by yourself and decide whether to agree and accept the employment offer from this ship owner aboard this very vessel or not.
- If you sign a contract through unlicensed agent
- you should trust this person and this company, but always keep it in mind that it’s a great risk and in the case of your employment expectations failure, you will not be able to claim the agent;
- find out a company and vessel name before signing a contract;
- to find out the trade union title and the availability of the collective agreement aboard. Although you’ll be unlikely to succeed because unlicensed agent is not obliged to provide such information;
- to demand the contract copy (not always issued to the seafarers);
- to demand maximum information of transfer and the terms;
- not to make prepayment to the agent. In the case of payment, you should know that you are responsible for the risk to lose money. As such agents not always complete their obligations and as a rule don’t return the money.
- In the case of direct employment
- Apart of all said above, it’s also important to gather maximum information about the company and the vessel. If the vessel detentions and arrests took place, and on what ground. To find out the vessel’s route, it’s technical state, crew nationality.
So, the more you know the less is the probability to approach a specialist.
Now that I have described the basic moments, I’d like to describe what to do if you are in trouble and have no opportunity to get your salary.
If you decided to apply a marine specialist, you need to
- Have outstanding wages certificate.
- Copy of the Contract of employment.
- A copy of a seafarer passport with the registration aboard the vessel.
If these documents are present, the help provided to the seafarer will be much more efficient than without them and you’ll have a chance to the outstanding wages collection.
How can I help the seafarer applying to me?
- First of all, I analyze and study all the documents provided by the seafarer.
- Collection of information about the ship owner, vessel and all company vessels.
- Collecting of information concerning the present vessel position.
- Settling of the legally valid claim towards the company.
- If the claim for the outstanding wages was ignored or declined, I search the opportunity to arrest the vessel in the country of its residence or any suitable port. Also the seafarer is proposed the variant of a trial against the company in Ukraine as well as abroad.
The conclusion is the following.
Even if you are in trouble and refused in outstanding wages payment, don’t despair. You must know one thing. There are no hopeless cases and your case has a chance to success as well.