Monday, February 4, 2019

Maritime Union Steps Up Campaign Against RoRo Freight and Passenger Ferry Operators

Details of Next Proposed Dockside Protest Announced
Shipping News Feature
UK – The maritime union RMT is continuing its programme of objections to ferry and other shipping operators who sail under flags of convenience and skirt around UK employment laws and rates of pay with a protest which will take place this Friday, February 8 at Holyhead Port, Anglesey LL65 1DR.

The protest, commencing at 06:30 hours and targeting the 08:25 sailing of the Irish Ferries RoRo freight and passenger ferry WB Yeats, is to demand seafarer jobs, enforcement of employment law and trade union rights according to the union. The €144 million luxury vessel only came into service in December and its registration under the Cypriot flag incensed the union.

During the protest the RMT say its activists will be leafleting both passenger vehicle and freight trucks as they board the vessel in Holyhead Port. The latest protest adds to previous similar objections by the RMT under the banner of its SOS 2020 campaign, in Ramsgate and Portsmouth over the awarding of the ferry contracts post Brexit and pay and conditions of employment on Condor Ferries, plus demonstrations in Liverpool against another UK – Irish route operated by Seatruck Ferries. RMT General Secretary, Mick Cash commented:

“Irish Ferries, along with other Irish Sea operators such as Seatruck and P&O consistently flout employment law to cut Ratings’ pay below the legal minimum for land-based workers in Eire and the UK. Scandalously low pay in the shipping industry has driven a fall in UK Ratings of over 60% since the 1980s. Yet there are 87,000 ratings jobs in the UK shipping industry, with demand forecast to grow in the coming years. RMT is fighting to enable domestic seafarers to compete for these jobs by enforcing Minimum Wage legislation and ending nationality based pay discrimination.”

Photo: The WB Yeats.