12 January 2017
RMT Press Office:
RMT calls on MPs to press Shipping Minister to end pay discrimination in maritime industry.
MARITIME UNION RMT today called on MPs to press the Shipping Minister, John Hayes MP, during a back bench business debate [3pm, Thursday 12 January] on the future of the UK maritime industry to draw up a legislative timetable for ending the national disgrace of pay discrimination in the UK shipping industry.
RMT General Secretary, Mick Cash said:
“Ship owners cut their wage bill by getting rid of UK seafarers because they are able to discriminate against foreign seafarers by paying them less.
“Every day seafarers, including those working on vessels chartered as part of a public contact for services between UK Ports continue to be exploited by rates of pay well below the UK minimum whilst shipowners enjoy massive tax breaks and a complete lack of accountability.
“Governments of all persuasions have failed to act in the national interest and the interests of seafarers who actually work on ships which deliver almost all of the UK’s traded goods, as well as tens of millions of ferry passengers every year. The Government commissioned Carter Report’s recommendation to end this form of discrimination in the UK shipping industry must be implemented and the Shipping Minister must draw up a timetable to make this happen.”
RMT National Secretary, Steve Todd added:
“We all want to see the UK Ship Register grow but this should never be at the expense of our long term need for a resilient national maritime skills base, of Ratings and Officers capable of operating a diverse merchant fleet. A quality flag should mean quality jobs and employment standards.
“Yet the shipping industry continues to profit from Government failure to provide a future for UK seafarers and no amount of wining and dining during London International Shipping Week should distract MPs or the taxpayer from this basic fact.
“We’ve had forty years of failure to address the national disgrace of pay discrimination in the UK shipping industry and it can no longer be kicked into the long grass. This Government has the opportunity to end ineffective regulation and to provide the level commercial playing field that seafarers, of today and in the future, need and expect.”