Invitation to RMT SOS 2020 Event, National Assembly for Wales, 9 Jan 2020, from 4pm

Dear Colleague




As part of the RMT SOS 2020 campaign to increase jobs and training for seafarers in Wales, we have organised a demonstration and rally at the National Assembly for Wales (the Senedd) on Thursday 9th January 2020, 5-7pm. There will be a short demonstration outside the National Assembly from 4pm and RMT members are asked to attend the demo first.


Over 1,300 seafarers added £127m to the economy of Wales in 2017, yet local workers cannot always compete for this work due to legal loopholes that allow anti-trade union companies like Irish Ferries to crew their ships with seafarers from outside Wales, the UK and Ireland on contracts that pay below the minimum wage for months at sea.  For example, Latvian Ratings on Irish Ferries’ Cypriot flagged MV Ulysses were paid a basic €5.51 per hour on the Holyhead-Dublin route in 2018. This outrageous exploitation of crew is all too common and undermines the recommendations of the Fair Work Commission, as well as industry standards set by RMT collective bargaining agreements.


Stena Line’s recent decision to flag the new Holyhead-Dublin ferry, Estrid in Cyprus is a further indication of the instability that aggressive business practices in the shipping industry can cause for seafarers in Wales, Ireland and the UK.


We will be calling on the Government of Wales to use its powers to put Welsh seafarers in a stronger position to benefit from growth in shipping and maritime jobs in a number of ways, including:


  • applying the Living Wage for Wales (£9.30 p.h.) in the shipping industry
  • stronger enforcement of employment rights
  • conditional public investment in Welsh ports and shipping services
  • delivering maritime apprenticeships in Wales and
  • extending sectoral collective bargaining to the maritime sector.


You are strongly encouraged to attend. Food and refreshments will be provided at the event in the Senedd. Please email to confirm your attendance at the SOS 2020 event in Cardiff on 9th January.


I hope to see you on the day to carry on the fight for a shipping industry that works for Welsh seafarers.


Yours sincerely


Mick Cash

General Secretary