Indonesia Seafarers’ Union (KPI) is urging the government to take focus on socializing or campaigning regulations relating the seafarers’ welfare, rather than other issues, including the issue of crew change that has been taken as a corridor talk within the directorate general of sea transportation (Hubla).
Talking to the press this morning (July 9), KPI President Mathias Tambing highlighted three crucial problems the seafarers facing at this time that need government’s high concern.
The problems include: first, the problems of cabotage that regulate that maximum numbers of Indonesian (owned by Indonesia) vessel crew that sails overseas. “The regulation on cabotage of vessel crew doesn’t run,” said.
Second, government should take focus on campaigning the issues relating the flag of convenience (FOC) vessels that have been an international maritime issue for a very long time. “The problem is that the wage of those who work at the FOC vessels is very low, lower than the standard,” he said further.
And, third, the government has to stop any crew recruitment practice without competence standard that triggering lower wage for the crew.
“This wrong practice indirectly threatens crews who have been on board. They are threatened with dismissal any time and replaced with the new recruitment that can be waged under standard,” Mathias warned.
Hence, KPI is questioning the campaigned of crew change programmed by Hubla.
“Crew change is fully control by shipping lines and their agents. How Hubla will make it (crew change) work?” Mathias questioned.
Mathias noted that the many Indonesia’s seafarers cannot be absorbed due to oversupply. “Supply and demand is imbalanced,” he explained.
Earlier, on Wednesday, July 8, 2020, Hubla conducted a campaign on crew change, as a follow up of global campaign on ‘Global Calling All Ships in Ports Worldwide: Sound Your Horns’.
This campaign is a series of global campaign on easiness for crew change in responding the global crisis due to pandemic Covid-19.
This campaign is also as appreciation vessel crew playing as keyworkers, especially during the pandemic period.