16 March 2021
RMT Press Office:
RMT responds to Government security, defence, development and foreign policy review.
ROYAL FLEET AUXILIARY UNION RMT today responded to the Government’s Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy.
Mick Cash, RMT General Secretary said:
“With all the sabre rattling, the Government has again overlooked the importance of civilian seafarers to the country’s long term strategic and security needs.
"Seafarer numbers slumped again last year but there is no detail in here for our members working to support the Royal Navy and the military with essential maritime capacity.
"The Royal Fleet Auxiliary remains committed to apprenticeships but it is simply not sustainable to continue replacing RFA seafarers through natural wastage every year. And there is no mention of how the Government intends to meet the military’s future strategic sealift demands when the Ministry of Defence’s PFI contract with Foreland Shipping ends in 2024.
"Instead of striking soft power poses, we need practical measures to strengthen our seafarer skills base which would provide true strategic resilience, not to mention jobs for the years ahead.”
- RMT organise over 700 civilian seafarers employed as Ratings in the Royal Fleet Auxiliary and Foreland Shipping.
- The RFA’s 13 ships provide support, refuelling and supplies to the Royal Navy fleet at sea, wherever they are on operational duty in the world.
- Foreland Shipping has a PFI contract with the Ministry of Defence for roll-on roll-off strategic maritime capacity.
- The Department for Transport’s Seafarers in the UK Shipping Industry 2020 (covering the year to June 2020) was published 24 February 2021 and show a total seafarer workforce in the UK shipping industry of over 86,100, with UK seafarers accounting for 19% of that total. That is a 6% fall on 2019.