Last December, Sapura Navegação Marítima SA – a joint venture between Seadrill and Sapura Energy – created huge difficulties for the visit of the SINDMAR Delegate Lorena Silva on the vessel “Sapura Jade” in Vitória (ES). That was an unfortunate attitude, aimed on trying to cover up the failure of Sapura to follow the Brazilian legislation RN6. The Union leader did not give up, and when entering another vessel of same company, the “Sapura Diamante”, discovered the reason for the anti-union behaviour: Sapura was not hiring Brazilian officers to operate the ship. A complaint from Seafarers Union was immediately reported to auditors of the Ministry of Labour.
Such arbitrariness has been committed without embarrassment by Sapura. Also in December, the Delegate was on “Sapura Topázio” and, when requesting the crew list to the fleet manager, for simple verification of the crew onboard, she had her request denied. “The vessel has been operating in Brazil for three years and has not been fulfilling the RN 6 requirements”, said Lorena Silva. By the end of 2016, the Delegate had already denounced the company for the same conduct on the “Sapura Onix”. Attitudes such as that of Sapura and other shipowners hired by Petrobras, already reported by SINDMAR, aim to restrict the employment of Brazilians in the Offshore and cause degradation of labour relations, and must be fought by all who understand that the Merchant Marine must be treated as a strategic sector in the interests of our country.
Following the complaint of SINDMAR’s Regional Delegate in Fortaleza (CE), Rinaldo Medeiros, the Regional Superintendence of Labour and Employment Ministry in Ceará – SRTE/CE notified Star Ship Maritime Agency for noncompliance with the RN 6 on the tanker “MR Pat Brown” last 18 December 2017. The vessel chartered by Petrobras is an old acquaintance of the Trade Union Representation. Nicknamed “runaway” for trying to escape the inspection by the authorities, it had been operating without Brazilian crew on board for over a year. This time, the tanker was caught red-handed and was charged, responding for noncompliance with Brazilian law. The joint action of SINDMAR with SRTE resulted in the opening of six vacancies for Brazilian officers. The complaint to local authorities was only possible thanks to the collaboration of people who work in maritime-related activities and kept SINDMAR well informed.
SINDMAR has been working to combat poor labour and safety conditions on board, also reporting to the authorities the vessels not complying with national legislation, such as the RN 6 – former RN 72 – that requires a percentage of Brazilian maritime workers on board foreign vessels operating in national waters for a period exceeding 90 days. Visiting ships, talking to the workers and listening to their stories on labour conditions is a duty of the Trade Union Representation. There are some shipowners acting as real pirates and seeking creative formulas in an attempt to dodge national legislation. Everyone can and should denounce! Not only the seafarers onboard, but also cargo inspectors, mooring masters, agents, pilots, nautical specialists, surveyors and other professionals involved in port and maritime activity. Inform SINDMAR about any pirate ships! Collaborate defending our jobs!