MARITIME UNION RMT will be leafleting delegates at the Scottish Conservative Party conference tomorrow (Sat 4th March) in a bid to highlight the Save Our Seafarers 2020 campaign.
RMT’s SOS2020 campaign aims to stop the race to the bottom in the maritime sector. The collapse in the number of UK seafarers in recent decades, when numbers fell by over 60%, is directly linked to the widespread practice of crewing vessels with non-UK seafarers on pay rates below the UK minimum wage.
RMT is calling on all political parties to make a commitment to protect and increase jobs, training and services in the Scottish shipping industry, by:
• Enforcing the National Minimum Wage for seafarers.
• Supporting Collectively Bargained pay and conditions for all seafarers.
• Ending seafarer pay discrimination.
• Stopping low cost crewing in the North Sea offshore supply sector.
• Training the next generation of Seafarer Ratings to protect jobs and the skills base.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:
“The SOS 2020 campaign calls for a level commercial playing field which would end the exploitation of migrant workers and provide more jobs and training to the young people we need to attract to the shipping industry over the next three years in order to avert a crippling maritime skills shortage.
“Island nations like ours, which rely on the sea to transport almost all traded goods and tens of millions of passengers every year, depend on UK merchant seafarers to meet our basic economic and security needs. If we lose that skills base, we will lose control over key economic and strategic decisions.”