12 December 2018
RMT Press Office:
RMT response to today’s Government publication of figures of the number of UK seafarers in the shipping industry
RATINGS union RMT today responded with scepticism to the Government’s publication of figures for the number of UK seafarers in the shipping industry, based on data produced by the UK Chamber of Shipping.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:
“Today’s figures are helpful in demonstrating, once again, that growth in the fortunes of the UK shipping industry are not benefiting UK seafarers.
“The total number of Ratings jobs apparently increased by over 15,200 between 2017 and 2018 with UK seafarers accounting for 14% of those jobs. In fact, the DfT figures show that the proportion of UK seafarers working as Ratings on UK Chamber of Shipping member vessels has gone down compared to 2017.
“The underlying problems of nationality based pay discrimination, chronically low training rates and inferior employment rights continue to blight our shipping industry.
“Increasing the industry’s reliance on non-UK seafarers is absolutely the wrong way to prepare for Brexit and RMT strongly urge the Government to demand that the UK Chamber of Shipping works to genuinely increase UK seafarer jobs, rather than relying on them for dubious data that can be spun positively.”
1. The DfT’s statistics cite a 23% (2,220 jobs) increase in UK Ratings but state that this is a result of “…a change in the coverage of the data provided by the Chamber of Shipping. For this reason the increase should be treated with caution.” Later in the document, the DfT state that “This significant change is explained through a large company moving their business to the UK in 2018.” The document does not state that identity of the company in question https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/seafarers-in-the-uk-shipping-industry-2018
2. Page 8 of the DfT’s document shows that UK Ratings account for 15% of the 80,500+ Ratings jobs on UK Chamber members’ vessels. In 2017 UK Ratings accounted for 16% of 65,200+ jobs.
3. Table SFR0303 attached to today’s release shows that the number of Ratings of ‘Unknown Nationality’ on UK Chamber members’ vessels declined by over 2,700 between 2017 and 2018.