This is the last article you can read this month
You can read more article this month
You can read more articles this month
Sorry your limit is up for this month
MARITIME workers will be pressing the government to take action against the exploitation of seafarers today.
Seafarers who belong to the RMT union will be protesting for decent wages, jobs and conditions in Portsmouth.
Condor Ferries, which operates the lifeline ferry services between Portsmouth, Poole and the Channel Islands, is facing the renewal of its contract this year.
However, the RMT has accused it of casually employing foreign seafarers who live on the vessels on below-minimum wage rates to undercut British wages.
The company, which is owned by the Australian bank Macquarie, has also not released accurate documents to prove it has been compliant with British employment laws since 2015.
RMT general secretary Mick Cash condemned these vessels as “ships of shame,” adding that British workers should not have to compete with “poverty pay.”
This latest demonstration follows a seafarers’ rally outside the Department for Transport (DfT) yesterday after the government refused to commit to ensuring that companies who gain contracts for Brexit ferry services will guarantee their staff the minimum wage, union recognition and legal protection under the Equality Act.
In a House of Commons debate on Thursday Labour MP Karl Turner pointed out that, due to wage undercutting from migrant workers, British seafarers account for a mere 15 per cent of all seafarer ratings in the British shipping industry.
He then asked the government if it was willing to employ British seafarers on the ferry contracts, since £103 million of British taxpayers’ money will be spent on the services.
However maritime minister Nusrat Ghani refused to confirm this and said that the treatment of seafarers is “up to the company.”
Mr Cash said: “These are UK government ferry contracts and the government would be quite within its rights to insist they are protected by UK employment law and crewed with UK seafarers.
“That is an absolute scandal and it is clear that the government is only interested in a bosses’ Brexit.
“Companies will trouser millions of pounds of taxpayers’ cash while they crew their ships with exploited seafarers from other countries.”
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.