RMT Welcomes Minimum Wage Law for Seafarers

RMT Welcomes Minimum Wage Law for Seafarers

1 October 2020

RMT Press Office:

SEAFARERS UNION RMT welcomed the entry into law today of entitlement to the National Minimum Wage for thousands of Ratings working around the UK coast and warned employers in the shipping industry that they must comply or face serious reputational consequences.

RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:

“RMT welcome this new law which we have been demanding as part of our SOS 2020 and other seafarer campaigns down the years. Thousands of Ratings jobs around the UK coastline will now be covered by an improved, legally enforceable basic rate.

“UK seafarers are now in a better position to compete for these jobs and RMT will be demanding full recognition for all Ratings on all merchant ships working on these routes.

“We still await the Government guidance HMRC need to take enforcement action against companies in the UK shipping industry. But we know that not paying the NMW is an indicator of modern slavery and employers in the shipping industry need to know that failing to pay seafarers the UK NMW on domestic routes will result in a hefty fine, not to mention significant reputational damage in uncertain economic times.

“The crew change crisis triggered by the Coronavirus pandemic has further exposed the appalling abuses and unnecessary risks to seafarer and maritime safety inherent in the ‘low cost’ crewing model and the Flags of Convenience which support it.

“The collective achievement on the NMW for seafarers must be followed by Government action to train and employ thousands more UK Ratings, including on international routes.”


ENDS.

Notes to Editors
  1. The National Minimum Wage (Offshore Employment) (Amendment) Order 2020 comes into force on 1 October 2020.
  2. The legislation is the result of long term campaigning by RMT union which organises Ratings grades and which consistently highlighted and reported to UK regulators cases of seafarers working in UK waters on basic rates of pay well below the UK legal minimum, as low as £1.83 per hour in some cases.
  3. RMT and the Officers Union Nautilus International sat on the Legal Working Group on Seafarers and the NMW in 2017 which recommended that the scope of the NMW Act 1998 be extended to cover seafarers working on merchant ships working to the territorial limit of UK waters, as well as to offshore energy installations on the UK Continental Shelf, provided that the route was UK ports only.
  4. Cruise ships are exempt from the new legislation.
  5. A number of ferry, offshore supply chain and coastal trade routes between UK ports are crewed with seafarers recruited and domiciled outside the UK on contracts for basic rates of pay well below the RMT collectively bargained rate and the NMW. Paying crew below the NMW on these routes will be illegal from 1 October 2020.
  6. RMT organised an online roundtable on Monday 21 September Enforcing the NMW for Seafarers which was attended by Transport and BEIS Ministers and officials, as well as the key agencies that regulate and enforce the NMW (HMRC NMW Enforcement), seafarer safety and welfare standards (Maritime & Coastguard Agency) and anti-modern slavery legislation (Border Force).
  7. RMT is awaiting consultation over draft guidance from BEIS to reflect the provisions in the new legislation which will be central to the enforcement effort.
 
Seafarer pay rates below the NMW recorded on domestic merchant shipping routes in scope of the new law
 
September 2020
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
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
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
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 £8.72 per hour (25 years and over).

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Tagged with: Seafarers, National Minimum Wage, Ratings, NMW,