Report Crewing Agencies exploiting seafarers

Circular No: NP/257/20


Our Ref: S1/1 S1/7

20th October 2020

Dear Colleague,

Report Crewing Agencies exploiting seafarers

Further to circulars NP/046 of NP/231 of 22nd September 2020, I write to request that members report to the national union any evidence of crewing agents or any other employers who advertise seafarer Ratings jobs with stated terms and conditions that undermine UK employment and equality laws, as well as the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC).

Online advertising of Ratings jobs is part of a global ‘crew management’ industry worth billions of pounds, even during the crewing crisis triggered by the pandemic. Adverts seeking to recruit seafarers on blatantly exploitative rates such as $35 per day in the UK shipping industry remain common, although they are now illegal following the extension of NMW entitlement to all seafarers on domestic routes. Age limits and nationality restrictions are also common in seafarer job ads, especially for ABs, Cooks and Stewards on charter vessels working from UK ports. This is discriminatory and contravenes the minimum legal standards in the MLC which the UK ratified in 2014.

Members are asked to report to the national union any adverts for Ratings jobs, online or anywhere which undermine the RMT’s collectively bargained terms and conditions, the NMW, future cabotage protections and/or the MLC. You are asked to email screenshots and any other evidence of crewing agents advertising jobs which attack Ratings’ employment standards to the National Policy Department

I would be grateful if you could bring the content of this circular to the attention of all members in your Branch and you will be kept updated with further developments.

Yours sincerely

Mick Cash
General Secretary