Save Our Seafarers 2020 action in Stranraer, Friday 18th October

Circular No: NP/0159/19


Our ref: S1/2

6th September 2019

Dear Colleagues

Save Our Seafarers 2020 action in Stranraer, Friday 18th October

Further to circular no. NP/0158/19 of 5th September 2019, as part of the ongoing SOS 2020 campaign your Union is mobilising to target the newly appointed Secretary of State for Scotland, Alister Jack MP in his constituency office on:

Friday 18th October, 10am, 2-10 North Strand Street Stranraer DG9 7LD

The Port of Cairnryan is in Alister Jack’s Dumfries and Galloway constituency. P&O and Stena Line both operate Irish Sea ferry services between Cairnryan and Larne. RMT members on the P&O ferries European Causeway and European Highlander are employed in the OBS department. P&O use crewing agents to supply Deck and Engine Ratings from outside Scotland and the UK to work on these ferries on exploitative terms and conditions.

For example, a Romanian Able Seafarer on the P&O European Causeway is paid a basic rate of €3.87 per hour. The employment contract also demands tours of up to two months on the ship, working 12-hour days. RMT will never accept these employment conditions, which exploit migrant Ratings on low pay, undermine the Union’s collectively bargained pay rates and flout basic employment rights.

The Cairnryan-Larne route would be covered by the extension of the NMW to cover seafarers on domestic shipping and offshore energy routes which the UK Government has agreed to. This modest reform was secured by the Union’s collective endeavours and I pay tribute to your continued and effective support for the SOS 2020 campaign.

It is vital that the NMW reform and all the SOS 2020 campaign demands are introduced as quickly as possible and we will be in loud and positive voice when we take our message to Mr Jack’s constituency office and to members of the public in Stranraer.

All maritime members and activists, particularly in Scotland are strongly encouraged to attend this SOS 2020 action. The cost of attendance, including accommodation, is a legitimate form of Branch expenditure.

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

Yours sincerely

Mick Cash
General Secretary