SOS 2020 campaign – Streamline Shipping demo, Aberdeen 14th June

Circular No: NP/083/17

TO ALL BRANCHES AND REGIONAL COUNCILS.

Our ref: S1/1/17

1st June 2017

Dear Colleagues

SOS 2020 campaign – Streamline Shipping demo, Aberdeen 14th June

Further to circular no. NP/055/17 of 10th April 2017, your union is holding another SOS 2020 demonstration in Aberdeen Harbour against Streamline Shipping, to keep up the pressure on shipping companies who charter vessels with crew working on board for rates of pay below the legal UK minimum wage.

The demonstration will take place on Wednesday 14th June, from 9am at Aberdeen Harbour, Blaikies Quay/Black’s Lane, Aberdeen, AB11 5PU. A map is attached and can be downloaded here: https://tinyurl.com/kb34txc

Streamline continue to charter the Cyprus registered and German owned MV Daroja for its freight routes from Aberdeen to the Orkney and Shetland Islands. The basic rate of pay for Lithuanian and Latvian Ratings on the MV Daroja is as low as £2.56, barely a third of the National Living Wage of £7.50 p.h. In chartering this vessel, Streamline is profiting from the avoidance of UK employment law, as well as undermining terms and conditions in the domestic ferry industry and wrecking the national maritime skills base.

Streamline has chartered the Daroja and a crew of Ratings on sub-minimum wage rates of pay for over a decade, which includes a period under public contract when over £3m in subsidy was paid to Streamline by the Scottish taxpayer. This subsidy and the exploitative pay rates on the Daroja have propped up dividend payments of over £2m and counting.

Your union is clear that any extra freight capacity to Orkney and Shetland must be contracted and operated in the public sector as part of a nationalised NorthLink contract, with all Ratings paid according to the rate collectively bargained with the employer by the RMT.

I urge members and activists to keep up the pressure on Streamline by attending this further demonstration to highlight the havoc that these exploitative pay rates and charter arrangements are causing, by design to crewing practices and maritime skills. I remind you that the cost of attendance is a legitimate form of branch expenditure. Your continued engagement and support for this demonstration and all future SOS 2020 campaigning activity in Scotland and the UK is essential and appreciated.

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 further developments.

Yours sincerely

Mick Cash
General Secretary