Circular No: NP/050/18
TO ALL BRANCHES AND REGIONAL COUNCILS.
Our ref: S1/1 S2/5
9th March 2018
SOS 2020 campaign – CONDOR FERRIES demo, Portsmouth International Port, Friday 16th March
Further to circular no. NP/047/18 of 1st March 2018, the planned demonstration against Condor Ferries in Portsmouth has been re-scheduled to take place
on Friday 16th March, assembling 1330 at Portsmouth International Port, George Byng Way, Portsmouth PO2 8SP.
Condor Ferries continue to exploit foreign seafarers, on rates of pay well below National Minimum Wage rates in the UK, Jersey and Guernsey. The Condor fleet is registered under a Flag of Convenience (Bahamas), yet up to date information on seafarer wage scales has not been released for over three years, despite the company’s repeated claims to be fully compliant with UK, Channel Island and international laws.
What we do know is that in 2014 Ukrainian Ratings working on Portsmouth to Jersey and Guernsey routes were being paid £2.46 per hour. Correspondence between your union and Condor, following the SOS 2020 demonstration outside Condor’s head office in Poole, revealed that Condor continue to employ ‘international crew’ who live on the vessels for the length of their temporary contracts, so the company can avoid UK and Jersey employment law in order to maximise returns to the owner, Macquarie.
Condor’s contracts with the Governments of Jersey and Guernsey are coming up for renewal and the RMT demonstration will send a clear message to politicians that this exploitative and unpopular operator must be sent packing, with the next operator required in contract to recognise the RMT for collective bargaining purposes and, at the very least, to be a Living Wage employer. The Living Wage on Jersey is currently set at £9.75 per hour and will come into force for Jersey’s public sector workers, including sub-contractors on 1st June this year.
Leaflets, flags and other regalia will be distributed on the day. Shipping and offshore members and activists are strongly encouraged to attend this demonstration against a company that continues to discriminate against UK and Channel Island seafarers. The cost of attendance is a legitimate form of Branch expenditure.
Ahead of this important demonstration, the RMT Parliamentary Group has tabled Early Day Motion 1039 to highlight Condor Ferries’ record of undermining seafarer pay and employment. Please ask your local MP to sign EDM 1039 which is available here: https://www.parliament.uk/edm/2017-19/1039
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.