RMT evidence to the Low Pay Commission (LPC)

Circular No: NP/076/18


Our Ref: S1/7

27th April 2018

Dear Colleague,

RMT evidence to the Low Pay Commission (LPC)

Further to circular NP/065 of 5th April 2018, your union regularly supplies the LPC with evidence of sub-National Minimum Wage pay rates in the transport and offshore energy sectors. Based on all evidence collected, the LPC recommends to Government the level of annual NMW increases and related reforms to low-pay policy.

The LPC’s ‘Work Programme’ for 2018 includes the following evidence gathering visits:

23-24 May                                 Barnstaple and North Devon
13-14 June                               Newry
13-14 June                                Perth
4-5 July                                     Anglesey
8-9 August                                Birmingham

Your union is preparing to provide evidence of sub-NMW pay for seafarers on the Heysham-Warrenpoint and Holyhead-Dublin routes when the LPC visits Newry (13-14 June) and Anglesey (4-5 July) respectively. Shipping employers such as Irish Ferries and Seatruck operate from these ports, crewing their ships with non-UK and non-Irish Ratings on basic pay which undermines the NMW in UK and Ireland, threatening terms and conditions at other Irish Sea employers where RMT has recognition.

I have also written to the ITF, to request assistance from them in providing the LPC with evidence from foreign seafarers working in the Irish Sea who are on rates of pay below UK and Irish NMWs.

RMT members, Branches, Regional Councils and Regional Organisers are asked to provide evidence of sub-NMW and other low pay issues ahead of the LPC’s visits, particularly to Newry and Anglesey. Please contact sos2020@rmt.org.uk or 0207 529 8281 with any evidence or comments.

Having secured agreement from the UK Government to extend the NMW to the UK territorial limit and to one-port voyages in the offshore energy sector, your union is working to demand that UK Government Ministers make the necessary legislative changes as soon as possible. Working with the LPC over the summer will serve to highlight any Government delay in tackling the likes of Seatruck who pay EU Ratings £3.78 per hour on the Cyprus registered Clipper Pennant between Heysham and Warrenpoint.

The LPC’s visit to Anglesey is a chance to remind the Government that RMT will not stop at NMW application between UK ports and in the offshore sector. The SOS 2020 campaign to change employment and equality laws to end seafarer exploitation in companies like Irish Ferries will be reinforced in all evidence submitted by your union to the LPC.

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