Charter of Demands for Seafarers Confederation of India’s members

Source: BMS      Date: 7/31/2012 4:17:32 PM

To,                                                    Dated: July 25, 2012                      
The Managing Director,
Lakshadweep Development Corporation Ltd.,
Kochi.

Sir,
Sub: Charter of Demands for Seafarers Confederation of India’s members

This is to bring to your notice that, We, Seafarers Confederation of India (hereinafter, “SCI”) is being registered as a trade union. We are affiliated to Bharatiya  Mazdoor Sangh (hereinafter, “BMS”) and We look into grievances of our members from the shipping fraternity consisting mostly of officers working on board vessels operated by Lakshadweep Development Corporation Ltd, Kochi (hereinafter, “LDCL”). We are aggrieved by the ongoing treatment meted out to the officers and we have thereby resorted to notify your good self about the demands we are hereby making in this charter. There are mainly three vital submissions in this, our charter of demands (hereinafter, “COD”), they are:
1.    The applicable Collective Bargaining Agreement for Indian Officers of IBF/MUI (hereinafter,- “CBA”) to be mandatorily adhered to, either by LDCL OR by the manning companies appointed by LDCL.
2.    A standardized system to be implemented for maintenance of proper rosters of officers who have been serving in the aforementioned sector over the last few years, and such roster needs to be strictly followed, irrespective of the officers being from Lakshadweep (hereinafter, “Islanders”) or others;
3.    Prioritizing Safety at the utmost in all realms regarding operation of the vessels of LDCL with strict compliance of statutory requirements under Indian laws and International conventions, including but not limited to, SOLAS, MARPOL, STCW, ISPS, as applicable.
Elaborating further on the above mentioned 3 points of submission:
1.    The applicable CBA to be mandatorily adhered to, either by LDCL or by Manning companies appointed by LDCL.   ( please refer to prevailing Collective Bargaining Agreement for Indian Officers is here by attached with)
a)    LDCL is a Govt. organisation, like SCI, DCI where in MUI pay scales are being implemented. Even AMBUJA which is a private organization has implemented MUI pay scale structure. Same has to be done with Officers of LDCL too. It may be noted that in the case of Crew member, NUSI/FUSI pay scales are being implemented.
b)    Adherence to Article 2.3 of the CBA which purports that standards laid down in the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006/2010 (hereinafter, “MLC”) with regard to recruitment and employment conditions of seafarers are met properly and verbatim the CBA;
c)    Adherence to Article 1.6 of the CBA which provides that the CBA remains in effect from the day of signing on of an officer till the day of signing off from the said engagement;
d)    Adherence to Article 2.2 of the CBA whereby the company is mandatorily required to bear the pre-employment medical expenses of a seafarer;
e)    Adherence to Article 9 of the CBA regarding Wages and compliance with existing employment agreement with utmost importance to wage scale in accordance with Annexure -1 of the CBA. Allowances to be in tune with seniority on completion of 12 months service in the company as propounded in Article 9.7 of the CBA;
f)    Adherence to Article 12 of the CBA detailing Subsistence Allowances to be observed without any deviation making the company responsible to provide food and accommodation of suitable quality to the officers while on board and on leave;
g)    LDCL to accept all medical certificates issued by DG appointed Doctors / medical practitioners;
h)    Termination of employment to be affected strictly in accordance with the provisions underlined in Article 18 of the CBA;
i)    Repatriation of officers to be in accordance with Article 19 of the CBA;
j)    The Company shall provide each officer with Personal Protective Equipments accordance with ISM/IMO Regulations as provided in Article 28 of the CBA;
k)    The Company shall provide Food, Accommodation, Bedding, Amenities, as applicable, in accordance with Article 27 of the CBA with the standards specified in Title 3 to the ILO MLC.
2. A standardized system to be implemented for maintenance of proper rosters of officers who have been serving in the aforementioned sector over the last few years, and such roster needs to be strictly followed, irrespective of Islanders or others,
a)    LDCL to honour constitutional rights of the seafarers and refrain from violating the fundamental rights of officers especially their right to freedom of employment and equality before law as enshrined in Part III of the Constitution of India;
b)    LDCL to refrain from employing officers at all ranks based solely on the distinction of being Islander with utter disregard to their level of competency and efficiency;
c)    LDCL to constitute an employment monitoring cell to ensure job opportunities are available to everyone regardless of being Islander or not;
d)    Such employment monitoring cell to be equipped to check into criterion for appraisals LDCL -313 and general standards of employment is mandatorily adhered to by Marine Superintendents without any bias towards officers based on Islanders or not;
e)    Proper roster should be standardized to ensure that contract period of 4 to 6 months is strictly complied with in order to be in conformity with providing opportunity for employment in all ranks.
3.    Prioritizing Safety at the utmost in all realms regarding operation of the vessels of LDCL with strict compliance of statutory requirements under Indian laws and International conventions, including but not limited to, SOLAS, MARPOL, STCW, ISPS, as applicable.
a)    LDCL to ensure that unsafe ship practices, such as giving FO Bunker during dark hours and while passengers are boarding vessels, to be curtailed;
b)    LDCL to ensure that strict scrutiny of passengers and their belongings be undertaken in accordance with the International Ship and Port Security Code (hereinafter, “ISPS”);
c)    LDCL to ensure that Unseaworthy vessels are not to be sent to sea in violation of Section 334 of The Merchant Shipping Act,1958 (hereinafter, “MSA”);
d)    LDCL to ensure that Master is not forced to continue with voyage with an Unseaworthy vessel in violation of MSA 334 or in the event of force majeure by implementing measures to curb passenger unrest on board by employing adequate security/ defense personnel on board; (As per MS act, it is Master & Master alone who is responsible for the safe conduct of the ship. However, Master’s decisions are not respected by port authorities in the Islands which are manned by incompetent & inexperienced designated personals. There have been instances where in masters were ‘GHERAOED’ at sea by passengers forcing to continue sailing despite of excess passengers/rough sea. Posting of defense personnel onboard (defenses personnel had been onboard until few years back) to control law and order, to be re-implemented.
e)    LDCL to ensure that vessels are tended to repairs and maintenance as and when required.
The aforementioned 3 point submission is only a gist of the umpteen numbers of grievances faced on a daily basis by the officers employed by the LDCL. The said priority policies of LDCL to favour Islanders and disregard constitutional and International provisions have left the officers with no other resort. Hence, this Charter of Demands has been executed on this date (25/07/2012 at Kochi.
It may noted that officers of 150 PAX vessels put up a representation dated 22/03/2012 regarding pathetic accommodation & catering facilities at Lakshadweep islands. Except for cosmetic changes nothing has been done till date, especially with regard to unprofessional cooks & unhygienic living conditions
If the above charter of demands are not met with/agreed to, within one month, we may be forced to agitate.





 
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