Maritime News

Action in British port highlights seafarer exploitation

19 May 2017

Union action in a British port has highlighted how seafarers across Europe are subject to low pay and exploitation.

The action by members of the RMT – part of the union’s SOS 2020 campaign to defend seafarer jobs and pay – took place in Poole, with a specific focus on Condor Ferries. The union says that the ferry company is paying non-UK seafarers below GBP3 an hour, whereas the UK national living wage is GBP7.50.

RMT members and supporters lobbied UK and European government and shipping industry delegates at an event for European Maritime Day 2017 in the town, and held a protest outside the Condor Ferries head office.

The union says that 56 percent of the 500,000 seafarers working in European waters are non-European Union nationals on poverty pay, only 10 percent of ratings jobs in the UK shipping industry are held by UK seafarers, and that only a handful of UK ratings are in training to replace the 3,000 due to retire by 2020.


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