25 June 2020
RMT Press Office:
On International Day of the Seafarer RMT demands an end to UK ferry jobs massacre
SEAFARERS’ Union RMT today launched an appeal to increase UK Ratings’ jobs and restore power to national shipping registers as part of the International Maritime Organisation’s annual Day of the Seafarer.
RMT Senior Assistant General Secretary, Mick Lynch, said:
“On this year’s Day of the Seafarer, RMT pay tribute to the world’s seafarers, many of whom are being worked beyond the limits of international maritime law during the current pandemic.
“We also recognise that UK Ratings are ageing and only hold under 20% of all Ratings jobs in the UK shipping industry. The same story of shipowner exploitation of foreign crews is common across Europe as employment and pension rights and safety regulations have been slashed in a desperate bid to compete with Flags of Convenience.
“This unsustainable model and the weakness of international conventions intended to protect seafarers’ rights have been laid bare by the Covid-19 crisis. Major employers like P&O Ferries are seeking to dump seafarers in Dover and Hull and increase the use of foreign agency crew on six month contracts for a basic £4.50 per hour yet our Government just shrugs its shoulders.
“RMT calls on the Government to make Day of the Seafarer mean something and announce plans to tackle seafarer exploitation on international shipping routes from UK ports before UK Ratings are consigned to the pages of history.”