Motion 35 Justice and jobs for seafarers

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carried motion
Carried motion

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Congress applauds the maritime unions’ prolonged campaign which persuaded the UK government to pass legislation to extend the application and enforcement of national minimum wage rates to all seafarers working on all vessels between UK ports and from a UK port to energy installations on the UK continental shelf. This new provision will be in force by October 2020 and Congress calls for proper enforcement.

Congress notes, however, that seafarers employed on flag of convenience vessels on international routes from UK ports are not covered by this reform and that 80 per cent of ratings working in the UK shipping industry are non-UK seafarers. As a result, the very existence of UK ratings remains under threat.

This is driving job losses and injustices at companies like P&O Ferries, who recently used Covid-19 as cover to make hundreds of seafarers redundant in Dover and Hull while retaining Filipino crew paid £4.50 per hour to work twelve-hour days, seven days a week for up to six months between Hull and Rotterdam.

Congress notes that the government said in June they will consider whether further legal changes are required when Equality Act regulations are reviewed later in the year. Congress calls for this review to outlaw discrimination, sub-minimum wage rates and excessive hours for seafarers on ships working on international routes from UK ports. Congress also calls for UK seafarer protections to be pursued in free trade agreements negotiated after the UK leaves the European Union.

National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers