RMT Welcome Minimum Wage Law for Seafarers and Calls for Compliance
SEAFARERS UNION RMT welcomed the entry into law today of entitlement to the National Minimum Wage for thousands of Ratings working around the UK coast and warned employers in the shipping industry that they must comply or face serious reputational consequences.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:
“RMT welcome this new law which we have been demanding as part of our SOS 2020 and other seafarer campaigns down the years. Thousands of Ratings jobs around the UK coastline will now be covered by an improved, legally enforceable basic rate.
“UK seafarers are now in a better position to compete for these jobs and RMT will be demanding full recognition for all Ratings on all merchant ships working on these routes.
“We still await the Government guidance HMRC need to take enforcement action against companies in the UK shipping industry. But we know that not paying the NMW is an indicator of modern slavery and employers in the shipping industry need to know that failing to pay seafarers the UK NMW on domestic routes will result in a hefty fine, not to mention significant reputational damage in uncertain economic times.
“The crew change crisis triggered by the Coronavirus pandemic has further exposed the appalling abuses and unnecessary risks to seafarer and maritime safety inherent in the ‘low cost’ crewing model and the Flags of Convenience which support it.
“The collective achievement on the NMW for seafarers must be followed by Government action to train and employ thousands more UK Ratings, including on international routes.”