8 January 2020
RMT Press Office:
Ahead of Welsh seafarer protest tomorrow RMT reacts with alarm at new pay abuse on Cyprus registered freighter
WELSH SEAFARERS union RMT today reacted with alarm at another case of seafarer pay abuse on a Cyprus registered freighter working on a domestic route, uncovered following an inspection of the ship requested by the Union.
It comes the day before an RMT Save Our Seafarers protest which will take place on Thursday 9th January 2020 from 1600 outside the National Assembly for Wales (Senedd), Cardiff Bay, Cardiff, CF99 1NA.
RMT general secretary Mick Cash said:
“The new decade starts with the latest example of the shipping industry’s long standing exploitation of foreign seafarers between ports in Wales, England and Northern Ireland.
“Paying seafarers $2.12 per hour for the first eight hours of work is not only scandalous, it damages the economy of Wales and the UK.
“My union is lobbying the Senedd in Cardiff tomorrow for pro-seafarer actions and we will be highlighting the appalling case of the MV Maris.
“It is also very troubling to see that this ship of shame is on the Cyprus maritime register, a flag of convenience that attracts shipowners by holding crew wages down to levels akin to modern slavery.
“We’re looking forward to working with the Government of Wales to stamp out this appalling abuse of seafarers’ rights which undermines good maritime employers and excludes Welsh seafarers from work in the maritime transport sector.
Notes to Editors
1. An inspection of the Cyprus registered MV Maris carried out last month by the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) found Filipino Ordinary Seafarers (Ratings) employed on a contract for up to ten months for basic pay of $2.12 per hour and an overtime rate of $3.73 p.h.
2. The MV Maris is chartered to work on a route calling at Avonmouth (Bristol), Newport (South Wales), Cardiff and Warrenpoint (Northern Ireland).
3. On 11 June 2019, Employment Minister Kelly Tolhurst MP committed during Commons Questions to introduce secondary legislation by autumn 2019 which would apply and enforce the National Minimum Wage on ships working between UK ports and from UK ports to offshore energy installations on the UK Continental Shelf. That legislation has still not been introduced in the UK Parliament.
4. RMT is holding events at the Welsh Assembly from 4pm on Thursday 9th January in support of actions that the Government of Wales can take to protect and increase seafarer employment and training in Wales.