National Minimum Wage and Seafarers

National Minimum Wage and Seafarers

21 September 2020

RMT Press Office:

RMT issues blunt warning over crewing practices

SEAFARERS UNION RMT today raised the alarm over the impact of the shipping industry’s crewing policies on UK seafarers’ jobs, ahead of an online ministerial roundtable on enforcing new National Minimum Wage legislation for seafarers.

RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:
“Covid-19 has been used by some employers in the ferries sector to make mass redundancies, even though the pandemic has triggered an international crewing crisis. Contracts for foreign ratings working from UK ports typically pay well below the National Minimum Wage for six months work at sea.

"The new legislation gives us the chance to take action against this long standing disgrace and restore a level playing field for UK seafarers to compete for work, not just in passenger ferry but on the growing fleets needed to service the offshore wind, decommissioning and coastal cargo sectors in UK waters.

"RMT welcome this legislation but it will only work to return ratings jobs to the UK in the number needed to repair the skills base if it is effectively enforced and followed by legislation which provides a level playing field for seafarers in the UK to compete for jobs on international routes from UK ports too. We are hopeful that today’s roundtable will result in seafarers being able to rely on these new protections from day one.”
Ends

Notes to Editors
 
1.       The  National Minimum Wage (Offshore Employment) (Amendment) Order 2020 will come into force 1 st  October 2020. It will extend NMW rates to all seafarers working on merchant ships between UK ports and from UK ports to installations on the UK Continental Shelf.
2.        RMT, with support from other maritime unions and the TUC have been pressing Governments since the introduction of the National Minimum Wage Act 1998 to fully extend the Act to cover seafarers working from and between UK ports. A sample of the evidence gathered by the RMT from seafarer employment contracts over the last 3 years demonstrate the extent of the problem.
3.        UK Ratings held 19% (9,140) of the total number of Ratings jobs in the UK shipping industry in 2019, according to the Department for Transport’s  statistics .
4.        RMT have organised an online Ministerial Roundtable on Monday 21 September 11-1300,  Enforcing the NMW for Seafarers The Shipping Minister, Robert Courts MP, Employment Minister Paul Scully MP and Labour’s Shadow Shipping Minister Mike Kane MP will be in attendance, along with officials from HMRC NMW Enforcement, the MCA, Border Force and employers from the shipping, renewables, oil and gas and decommissioning sectors. 
 
Examples of Seafarer pay rates below the NMW in the UK shipping sector, 2017-20
 
Operator
Vessel & Route
Basic pay
Flag of vessels
Rating
Nationality 1
P&O
Norbank, Irish Sea
$3.47 p.h.
Netherlands
Filipino
P&O
Norbay, Irish Sea
$3.47 p.h.
Bermuda
Filipino
P&O
Pride of York, Hull-Zeebrugge
$4.45 p.h. (AB grade)
Bahamas
Portuguese, Brazilian, Filipino
P&O
Pride of York, Hull-Zeebrugge
€2.04 p.h. (Cook)
Bahamas
Lithuanian
P&O
Pride of Hull, Hull-Rotterdam
£4.50 p.h.
(Able Seafarer)
Bahamas
Filipino
P&O
European Causeway, Cairnryan-Larne
€3.87 p.h.
(Able Seafarer)
Bahamas
Romanian
P&O
European Highlander, Cairnryan-Larne 
£4.91 ph.
(Able Seafarer)
Bahamas
Croatian
P&O
Pride of Canterbury,
Dover-Calais
£1.75 p.h.
(AB grade)
Cyprus
Non-UK
Stena Line 
Britannica, Harwich-Hook of Holland
$3.98 p.h. (steward)
UK
Filipino
DFDS
King Seaways, Newcastle – Ijmuiden
$2.63 p.h. (Cabin Steward)
Danish Int’l Ship Register
Polish, Ukrainian, Romanian, Filipino
Cobelfret
Mazarine, London (Anchorage)-Rotterdam
€4.11 p.h.
Malta
Russian
Cobelfret
MV Wilhelmine, Tilbury-Zeebrugge
£5.30 p.h.
Malta
Ukrainian
Seatruck
Pace, Irish Sea
£3.78 p.h.
Cyprus
Polish
Seatruck
Clipper Pennant, Heysham-Warrenpoint
£3.78 p.h.
 
Cyprus
Polish
Seatruck
Power, Irish Sea
£3.78 p.h.
Isle of Man
Polish
Condor Ferries 2
Portsmouth to Jersey and Guernsey
£2.40 p.h.
Bahamas
Ukrainian
Irish Ferries
MV Ulysses,
Dublin-Holyhead
€5.51 p.h.
(Ordinary Seaman)
Cyprus
Latvian, Polish
AllSeas
Pioneering Spirit, Brent Delta decommissioning project (completed 
May 2017) 
£3.75 p.h.
Malta
Non-EEA
Heerema
Thialf, 
Murchison decommissioning project (completed July 2017)
$45 per day
Panama
Filipino
Seacosco
Seacosco Yangtze
Great Yarmouth-UKCS (Offshore Wind) 
$2.34 p.h.
(Able Seafarer)
Marshall Islands
Filipino
Up Offshore
Up Agate
(Sunderland, laid up)
$3.61 p.h.
Panama
Indian
Manfill Limited
Fairline Surveyor, Barrow-Irish Sea (Offshore wind)
$4.95 p.h.
(Cook)
UK
Filipino
Manfill Limited
Fairline Surveyor, Barrow-Irish Sea (Offshore wind)
$5.96 p.h. (Oiler)
UK 
Filipino
Gulf Marine Services
GMS Evolution 6104,
Blyth-UKCS (offshore wind) 
$2.44 p.h.
(Able Seafarer)
Panama
Filipino
Horizon Geosciences
Horizon Geobay, Invergordon-Inch Cape Wind Farm
£4.20 p.h.
(Able Seafarer)
Panama
Filipino
Fugro
Fugro Pioneer, Sunderland-Sofia Offshore Wind Farm
$3.40p.h
(Able Seafarer)
Bahamas
Filipino
USC Barnkrug
MV Maris,
Avounmouth-Warrenpoint
$2.12 p.h.
(Ordinary Seafarer)
Cyprus
Filipino
USC Barnkrug
MV Maris,
Avounmouth-Warrenpoint
$2.40 p.h.
(Cook)
Cyprus
Filipino
Cable Enterprise
V Ships, Southampton-Channel (cable laying) 
$3.11 p.h.
(Cook)
UK
Filipino
Cable Enterprise
V Ships, Southampton-Channel (cable laying) 
$3.85 p.h.
(Engine)
UK
Filipino
Niem N-Sea
Aberdeen-UKCS, Offshore Supply
$3.47 p.h.
(Steward)
Bahamas
Portuguese
 
 
 



[1]  Non-UK nationalities being paid below the UK National Living Wage of £8.21 per hour (25 years and over).
[2] ITF Inspectors denied access. Information last updated in 2014.

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