On 16 March 2015 the Inspectorate of the International Transport Federation (ITF) to which the Federation of Transport Trade Unions in Bulgaria (FTTUB) is an affiliate, received a signal of distress by Ukrainian sailors from “Asian Dream” ship. Their salaries have not been paid for more than 3 months. Captain Dushin approached ITF for support after the ship became a “hostage” due to a breach of agreements and unpaid bills by her ship owners – Asian Dream Sniping Ltd and their authorized operator International Maritime Advisor and Management. ITF revealed that both companies are registered at one and the same address in Shanghai. The ship herself has been registered under Liberian flag and is currently detained in Varna lake.
On the following day after the distress signal an ITF inspector boarded the ship for scrutiny. There have been found numerous violations of Maritime Labour Convention (MLC 2006). Violations consist of non-payment of salaries to the crew for more than three months, and the need for repatriation of crew members, who have been working on the ship for more than a year. It turns out that the ship owner has unilaterally terminated the contract with the handling company in Varna. In the report, submitted to the ITF, Captain Dushin stated that management do not answer either the phone calls or the repeatedly sent e-mails from the crew. In consequence of the above, the ship has remained without the necessary food and water.
On 27 March 2015 thanks to the joint efforts of the trade union organization at “Construction and technical fleet” Ltd. (STF Ltd.) Varna, the management of the company, Border Police, Customs, Maritime Administration Agency represented by Capt. Djambazov and Capt. Enchev, Bulgarian Red Cross and the Association of Ukrainians in Bulgaria, the destitute sailors were finally delivered supplies – food and water for five days – by a boat provided by STF Ltd.
FTTUB and the trade union at STF Ltd. continue their efforts for resolving the conflict and regularly inform the public of the progress.