The astounding new film called Dark Side of the Black Sea, made by the ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation) member of the Marine Employees Solidarity Association (DAD-DER), exposes the numerous lives of sailors that are being put at risk due to substandard ships. The movie is available in English, Turkish and Russian, here is where you can see it.
Unions in the region have used a week of action in order to make transport workers familiar with the movie and to gain the attention of a wider audience for the trade union and human rights issues. Here are some of the activities done to promote the film : visits of numerous ships, giving out DVDs, sailor calendars and magazines, information sessions with sailors, movie screenings, press conferences and visits to maritime institutions in order to educate future sailors on the Black Sea project and distribute copies of the movie.
According to a report given in 2012, there was a large number of cases involving poor living standards and working conditions, as well as low wages and unseaworthy ships that are being used in the Black Sea region. A following report in 2014 determined that the issues in question are still present.
The ITF is cooperating with unions in the region in order to better the ongoing situation for sailors.
“Our desire is to promote this movie and the message it carries to transport workers all around the world but also to a broader audience that spreads beyond the trade and union field. The mere fact that sailors are out there risking their lives just to make a living is not simply a trade union issue, it’s a human rights one. At present sailors in the Black Sea are not getting the protection they require and this is something we desperately need to change” Captain Ural Cagirici from DAD-DER commented.
The project puts emphasis on three main aspects: education, primarily through action weeks; ratification of the Maritime Labour Convention by Black Sea states; and the organizing of the region’s sailors.
DARK SIDE OF BLACK SEA: SEAFARING IN SUBSTANDARD VESSELS
Video: Black Sea Documentary