Maritime News

Unions win wage hike for foreign crew on Scottish ferry

13 January 2017

Concerns raised by British maritime unions have led to an agreement by a Scottish ferry company, Seatruck, to raise wages for foreign crew employed on freight ferries that run from mainland Scotland to Orkney and Shetland. These seafarers will be paid at least the UK minimum wage from February.

Unions had complained that Seatruck was paying some of its seafarers as little as GBP3.66 an hour. The company had argued that paying the UK national minimum wage of GBP7.20 an hour (for over-25s) would create a “serious disadvantage” against its competitors.

However, the Scottish government has now reached an agreement in its contract with Seatruck to pay all foreign crew at least the national minimum wage.

The agreement was welcomed by the unions Nautilus and RMT, which had both campaigned to end the wage injustice for foreign seafarers. But both unions point out that low wages are still paid to foreign crew on other ships working in UK waters, and have called on the British government to safeguard the future of UK seafaring and end discriminatory pay in the shipping industry.

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