24 June 2020
RMT Press Office:
SEAFARER Union RMT today responded to the Secretary of State for Transport’s remarks in response to Transport Select Committee member Grahame Morris MP's questions over P&O's plan to make 1,100 redundancies mainly amongst seafarers in Dover and Hull whilst retaining Filipino agency crew on £4.50 per hour.
RMT Senior Assistant general Secretary Mick Lynch, said:
“On the day P&O Ferries ends its consultation, seafarers in Dover and Hull will be shocked to learn that they will be thrown on the scrapheap with the blessing of this Government, as well as P&O's owners in the Government of Dubai whilst non-UK crew on pay below the National Living Wage keep their jobs.
“As an island nation, we need a Government that invests in our maritime future or our economy will not recover from Covid-19. UK seafarers must increase as part of any recovery and Grant Shapps must look again at intervening to stop P&O from attacking British jobs.”
Notes to Editors
Exchange from Transport Select Committee session this morning, Wednesday 24 June:
Grahame Morris MP: ‘Don’t you think that there’s a case, outside of Covid-19, for reviewing the employment terms of seafarers to prevent companies like P&O…from employing seafarers from overseas on lower rates of pay than UK based seafarers?’
Grant Shapps: ‘I checked back specifically whether what was happening [P&O Ferries paying Filipino seafarer £4.50 per hour] adhered to the law, both UK and European. It did. And actually we were bound up in….international maritime law and it is not within our direct remit, not without altering international agreements. But I think that forever we should be driving up standards…’