28 February 2023
RMT Press Office:
Maritime union RMT, has called on the government to provide a new deal for seafarers after the latest statistics showed a big employment drop in the industry.
According to the latest figures, the total number of seafarers employed in the UK shipping industry fell by over 21,000.
Overall, the number of Ratings jobs fell by 28%, although there was a small increase in the number of UK Ratings.
Figures are provided in large part by the Chamber of Shipping - an employers' organisation.
RMT has continually stated that such stats do not provide a consistent overview about how difficult the situation is for seafarers following the industrial vandalism carried out by P&O last year, when they sacked almost 800 seafarers without warning.
RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: "UK Seafarers need a new deal that puts jobs, good terms and conditions at the heart of the industry, across every sector including ferries, offshore energy and deep-sea work.
"There is an unhealthy relationship between shipping bosses and the government that allows a race to the bottom in terms of terms, conditions and super exploitation.
"Maritime labour from outside the European Economic Area is being brought in, under flags of convenience where those workers are super-exploited by low wages and appalling working conditions.
"The government needs to step in to protect UK Ratings and end exploitation of seafarers from across the world who work in UK waters."