[2019] Motion 29 Ending exploitation of seafarers

carried motion
Carried motion

Received from:

Congress is appalled by the ongoing exploitation of foreign seafarers in the UK shipping industry.

Congress is concerned that the growth in ratings jobs in recent years has been mainly restricted to seafarers from outside the UK with a lack of basic trade union or employment rights. These seafarers are often employed on short term contracts that pay well below the national minimum wage (NMW) for excessive working hours. This corrosive practice is common in all sectors – roll-on, roll-off ferries, cargo, cruise and offshore supply.

Congress notes that these disgraceful employment practices are legal, mainly as a result of the failure to implement the recommendation of the government-commissioned Carter Report which advised in 2010 for the outlawing of nationality-based pay discrimination against seafarers in the UK shipping industry.

Congress notes that as a result of prolonged campaigning the UK government has committed to introduce legislation in the Autumn of 2019 to extend the application and enforcement of the NMW to seafarers working in UK territorial waters and out to energy installations on the UK continental shelf.

Congress is concerned, however, that this will not apply to seafarers working on routes between UK and foreign ports.

Congress therefore welcomes Labour’s commitments for the Carter Report’s recommendation to form the basis of legislation to outlaw nationality-based pay discrimination and for the extension of sectoral bargaining to the shipping industry, and also agrees to campaign for these policies to be adopted by the current government.

National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers